Time Grows on Trees: The Effect of Nature Settings on Time Perception

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  • Time perception may vary depending on one’s surroundings. Four studies examined whether time feels slower in nature compared to urban settings. Participants viewed images of nature or urban settings (Study 1), viewed a video of a walk through a forest or city via virtual reality headsets (Study 2), imagined themselves walking down a forest path or a city street (Study 3), and actually walked by a river or through campus tunnels (Study 4). Time perception was measured through subjective duration estimates (Study 1, 2, 3, 4) and objective duration estimates in minutes/seconds (Study 1, 2, 4). Across studies, the surroundings affected time estimates. Participants estimated the objective duration (Study 4) and subjective duration (Study 2, 3, 4) of the nature stimuli as significantly longer than urban stimuli. This research contributes to both time perception and environmental literature and may be applied in everyday time management.Keywords:time perception; nature; stress.

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  • Copyright © 2017 the author(s). Theses may be used for non-commercial research, educational, or related academic purposes only. Such uses include personal study, research, scholarship, and teaching. Theses may only be shared by linking to Carleton University Institutional Repository and no part may be used without proper attribution to the author. No part may be used for commercial purposes directly or indirectly via a for-profit platform; no adaptation or derivative works are permitted without consent from the copyright owner.
Date Created
  • 2017


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