One Answer

  1. Your subjective perception of time depends on the degree of involvement in what is happening. But it already depends on many factors, which can be internal (motivation, mood, character traits, degree of fatigue, etc.) and external (process dynamics, space features, time of day, environment, etc.).

    If the level of engagement is high (and when you are late, it may even be too high, then those seconds when you wait for the subway car seem like an eternity), then time flies by unnoticed, because what is happening is constantly in dynamics, not allowing you to “get bored”. What is happening becomes what your consciousness is currently focused on (the process of being late).

    On the other hand, when you are waiting for something, all your attention is focused on the subject of waiting, you are already included in it, psychologically being in a state of complete readiness for it. At the same time, what is happening around you is not so interesting, because it is not attractive to you, because it does not meet your inner expectations (aspirations, goals, motives). This means that the dynamics of what is happening for you are low, everything seems to freeze.

    A good illustration can be the queue at the clinic. Remember, when you wait for the next one to come out, it feels like forever. You go in yourself-one-two and go out. Although you spent the same ten minutes with the doctor.

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