We perceive decades to pass faster as we age, but only until our 50s

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We often hear about how time seems to pass more quickly as we age.

This study, "Age effects in perception of time" suggests that the older we get, the faster we perceive the most recent 10 years of our life passed, but only up until our 50s.

Some theories for why this is include:

  1. Each passing year contributes to a smaller fraction of our life. As a child, each year consists of a large proportion of our life, whereas when we're older, each year contributes only to a small fraction of our life.
  2. We perceive time in accordance with our memory of the events of that period of our life. More memorable events occur when we are younger, whereas life in our senior years are more monotonous. This makes events later in our life less memorable, and therefore we perceive it as less events happening, and therefore time passes more quickly. (And also, our memory deteriorates as we age.)

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