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Awesome Experiences Seem to Slow the Passage of Time

Awesome Experiences Seem to Slow the Passage of TimeTruly “awesome” moments can take our breath away. Such feelings of being in a complete and overwhelming sense of awe often leave us searching for words or measures to explain or define the incident.

Now, researchers from Stanford and the University of Minnesota have devised a way to study this feeling of awe in the laboratory. Across three different experiments, they found that jaw-dropping moments made participants feel like they had more time available and made them more patient, less materialistic, and more willing to volunteer time to help others.

The researchers believe the effects that awe has on decision-making and well-being can be explained by awe’s ability to actually change our subjective experience of time by slowing it down.

That is, experiences of awe help to bring us into the present moment which, in turn, adjusts our perception of time, influences our decisions, and makes life feel more satisfying than it would otherwise.

Mind-boggling, or perhaps just awesome!

Source: Association for Psychological Science

Man in state of awe photo by shutterstock.

Awesome Experiences Seem to Slow the Passage of Time

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Awesome Experiences Seem to Slow the Passage of Time. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 20, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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