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Behav Res Ther. 2007 Jun;45(6):1389-92. Epub 2006 Jul 21.

How time flies: a study of novice skydivers.

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School of Psychology, University of New South Wales, NSW 2052, Australia.


Although time distortion is commonly reported during a traumatic experience, there is little research addressing the phenomenon. This study investigated the role of affect in time perception in a very stressful experience by indexing novice tandem skydivers' (N=76) levels of fear and excitement before the skydive and soon after landing. Estimations of how long skydivers thought their experience lasted were obtained after landing. Whereas increased fear was associated with the perception of time passing slowly, increased excitement was associated with the perception of time passing quickly. These data support models of time perception based on avoidance and approach motivations influencing time distortion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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