Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Titel:
Psychology: The Science of Human Behaviour
Person:
Givler, Robert Ch.
PURL:
https://digitalesammlungen.uni-weimar.de/viewer/image/lit11929/207/
THE PERCEPTION OF TIME 
195 
tive to the passage of time itself.” “Close your eyes 
and simply wait to hear somebody tell you that a 
minute has elapsed, and the full length of your 
leisure with it seems incredible. You engulf yourself 
into its bowels as into those of that interminable 
first week of an ocean voyage, and find yourself won¬ 
dering that history can have overcome many such pe¬ 
riods in its course. All because you attend so closely 
to the mere feeling of time per se, and because your 
attention to that is susceptible of such fine-grained 
successive subdivision. The odiousness of the whole 
experience comes from its insipidity ; for stimulation 
is the indispensable requisite for pleasure in an ex¬ 
perience, and the feeling of bare time is the least 
stimulating experience we can have. ‘The sensation 
of tedium is protest,’ says Volkmann, ‘against the en¬ 
tire present.’ ” 
There is a difference between the manner in which 
* 
we estimate periods of time shorter or longer than 
three or four seconds. The estimation of longer in¬ 
tervals than four seconds is made, as we have already 
shown, on the basis of the events that fill them. The 
short intervals of time are ordinarily measured 
either on the basis of strain sensations, or by means 
of such organic rhythms as the breathing and the 
pulse provide. “Breathless with expectation” is a 
common phrase which indicates how important a 
part our strain sensations play in the estimation of 
time intervals. Suppose we are comparing the times 
it takes for two trap shooters to sight and fire at clay 
pigeons. The strains commence at the first sight of 
the first target, and increase in intensity until the 
shot is fired. They begin again at the sight of the 
second target, and when they have reached the same 
intensity as at the end of the first interval, it is
        

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