photo of person holding green leaf

What is the Psychology of Human Perception of Time?

Perception of time is a very broad field of science, cognitive science and psychology that refers to the individual’s subjective perception, or feeling, of the passage of time, which depends on the individual’s perception of the passage of events through time.

It also involves the study of how people perceive the passage of events through time, by evaluating the information that they experience. This is a broad field that goes a long way into determining our future.

What is the Psychology of Human Perception of Time?
Photo by Eren Li on

What is Perception of Time?

Our perceptions of time can be divided into three categories; conscious, unconscious, and subconscious. A person’s conscious perception of time can be classified in three major sub categories: objective time (time experienced in the future) subjective time (time experienced in the present), and unconscious time (time experienced during the past).

Categories of Perception

These subcategories can be classified into two major categories; automatic and volitional time.

  • The first one is when you experience a certain event in your life and it is experienced as happening to you while it actually is not.
  • The second category includes volitional or automatic conscious perception, when the conscious perception of events is guided by external sources and is not influenced by your subconscious mind.

Types of Perception

There are two types of this type of perception – conscious and unconscious. These subcategories are used for studying different human behaviors and experiences.

Another subcategories are subconscious time perception. Sub-conscious perception refers to a person’s awareness of the passing of a certain event in his/her life.

Conscious time refers to a person’s conscious and unconscious perception of his/her personal time experiences in the past, present and future.

Human Behavior and Experiences

It is very difficult to study the subcategories of human behavior and experiences. However, by analyzing the experiences of different animals, humans, and plants, we are able to study these experiences through the use of the microscope.

  • Animals react differently to their past. Some animals tend to look at their past in a negative manner, while some animals look at the past in a positive manner.
  • This can be attributed to different aspects of human life; the ability of humans to affect time and its passage. This can be described as the ability to change the time perception.
  • Humans are no different from other animals, even though most humans are very much aware of the passing of time.
  • Most of us go through different stages of our life where we experience the passing of time; in fact, it seems to be something that happens to us every day.
  • The passage of time is the cycle of events in the life of a human being. A person’s perception of time is a direct result of his/her behavior. Thus, a person’s behavior influences his/her perception of time.

Different behavior patterns also affect the perception of time. For example, some animals move forward or backward in time while some animals move around the world, in a very slow way. The more animals move backwards in time, the more that they experience time as a whole and thus, they have a very slow perception of time.

The animal is not only moving around in time but also experiencing every single moment. Animals have evolved to live and die at the same time, which makes it more important for them to have the perception of time. Animals can perceive time with great clarity, due to the fact that they do not need to be aware of any other time frame.

However, we have a conscious perception of time, by the use of tools and other instruments such as clocks and watches. The use of tools helps us to know the passing of time; however, a person can never know how long he/she has spent on earth. unless they pass away.

This is the reason why a person can never know how long he/she has spent on earth. by using tools. These instruments are used to measure the passing of time and thereby, tell the person how long he/she has been here.

They are useful for many purposes, but they cannot tell the exact time of a human. Thus, time cannot be measured accurately with the help of these instruments.


In order to understand human perception of time, one must use the techniques of scientific psychology to study the human mind. As a result, it becomes easier to understand the passage of time. We can also use time perception as a tool for the advancement of knowledge.

In addition, a person can understand how time is affected in the brain, by using tools such as clocks, watches, and microscopes. Time is very important for the survival of all animals and humans.

Read More:

What Is Social Perception? A Overview on Social Perception

Self Perception: Why it is Important to Accept the Fears You Create

Is Perception Same As Reality? Perception is Reality?