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Depression & Perceptions of Time Passage

For this study, the sample included 91 male and female undergraduate students from a psychology course. The subjects participated in a card sorting experiment to determine experiences of the passage of time. Mood states were induced to include depression and more elevated states. Findings showed that students in which a depressed state was induced, rated the passage of time to feel slow, compared to those in which a more elevated state was induced. However, each group was able to rate the tasks accurately regarding short or long amounts of time needed to complete the task. Thus it was only the subjective or feeling aspect related to the passage of time that was affected by the depressed state, rather than the actual passage of time. While this study provided some insight into the relationship between depression and perceptions of time passage, limitations included a small sample size and the use of a nonclinical population only. Thus actual effects of depression on time passage perceptions was not measured; instead effects of a depressed state were measured. A study is needed to replicate aspects of this study, comparing a clinical and nonclinical population.

Other studies of psychological states and time perceptions include effects of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder on perceptions of the passage of time. Barkley, Murphy, and Bush (2001) studied time perception in


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