Time Moves Faster As We Get Older Because of "Chunking"

January 10, 2018

Does it feel like the older you get, the fast time seems to move? It’s as if you blink and suddenly weeks or even months have passed you by. 

Science says that feeling of time ticking away at an uncontrollable speed because of a concept called “chunking.”

Originally developed by philosopher Douglas R. Hofstadter, he describes chunking as our tendency to collect memories together into bigger chunks as we get older.

Psychologists from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich found that time didn't seem to move as quickly when it came to short durations like days, months, and years for both younger and older people. The big change happened with longer spans of time like decades. 

"When asked to reflect on their lives, the participants older than 40 felt that time elapsed slowly in their childhood but then accelerated steadily through their teenage years into early adulthood," the study's psychologists Marc Wittmann and Sandra Lenhoff said. 

Ever notice that it seems to take forever to get to your destination when you're heading off to a vacation to a tropical island? The flight seems to be twice as long on the way there but seems super short on the way home. That's called the "Holiday Paradox."

The good news is that you can make time feel like it's passing much slower. Step out of your normal routine and try new things. Explore new locations and meet new people. These small changes will make time seem like it's moving slower instead of flying on by!