Which of these TWO ways do you perceive time?

published on August 1, 2020

– You may not know this, but there are actually only two ways that us English-speaking humans perceive time So I'm gonna ask you a question right now so you can find out which one you are If I tell you that Wednesday's noon meeting has been moved forward by two hours,

Do you now think that it's at 2:00 pm or at 10:00 am? If you think the meeting is now at 2:00 pm, this means you have the ego-moving perception of time You see yourself as moving forward through time If you think that the meeting's now at 10:00 am, this means you have the time-moving perception of time

You think that you are stagnant or static and time is flowing through you as if you are standing in a stream and time is the water Here's a visual representation of what I mean Ego-moving perspective, those who chose 2:00 pm,

They see themselves as moving forward through time Time-moving perspective, those who chose 10:00 am, see themselves as static, with time moving forward through them You may think that your answer is the obvious one I obviously think the meeting is at 2:00 pm,

And I can't think of how anyone could see it any other way, but when I talked to Mitch about this, he thought it was 10:00 am, and then we realized, that we see the world completely differently – So I'm here to represent all of the 10:00 am people who have the correct answer

– And I'm here for 2:00 pm I don't really think there's a correct, right or wrong answer I'm here to just defend them I think we can be fluid with our perception of time – In English, we call these perceptions fictive motion

The metaphorical movement of an object through space There technically is another way that English speakers can reference time that has nothing to do with our egos, and that's called the time reference point So if you think about seasons, you would say winter comes before spring

In that sense, time isn't perceived in reference to us Greg posted this question on TikTok, and it was wild to see how split it was People unable to comprehend how other people can see it the other way and really seeing like 10,000 votes on 2:00 pm,

And 10,000 votes on 10:00 am – People were reacting and even just immediately, when I first saw someone say, "Oh, it's 10:00 am" I was like, "Duh what?" And I think that is fascinating,

It's an English language issue in many ways I don't think we're ever gonna be able to explain or agree – Metaphors are important because they bridge people's language and thoughts But this all has to do with the English language The indigenous people of Aymara have a language

Where they construe the past as in front of them and the future behind them Speakers gesture to the front when they're talkin' about the past and to the back when they're talkin' about the future But to be honest, lots of different languages

Perceive times in different ways and maybe don't even have this issue because their language is much more direct It honestly reminds me of Yanny and Laurel – Laurel – In the fact that it must be just ambiguous enough

And falling just in the space between it could be either/or, with enough context, with maybe one more word, everyone could be on the same page But because of the way it's positioned, like the Yanny, Laurel, or the dress, it's because of the lighting,

It's because of subtle differences that leave it just in this weird zone, that your brain has to sort of make a decision – But that's an illusion, I don't- – I think this is sort of an illusion – Time is an illusion

– Time is an illusion – Oh my God This research is fascinating because it makes you realize that although time is objectively measured, it's subjectively understood Studies have also found

That we actually switch our perspectives depending on which event we're talking about For example, a wedding, something you're looking forward to, people are more likely to switch to the ego-moving perspective Whereas, if something's coming up that they dread,

Like a job interview that they're nervous about, they start to then become time-moving perspective as they fear and almost wanna keep that thing that keeps getting closer and closer, away from them But we still also have to grapple with the fact that I might think, you might think the holidays are coming,

Whereas I'm excited to get to the holidays Like fundamentally, I think of myself as moving through time, whereas okay, do you think the holidays are coming to you, or do you think that you are excited to get to them? – A bit of both, but I guess in general,

I feel that they are coming, yes – And I think that we're gonna get to them – You're trying to say that this isn't illusion because there's some fundamental, underlying principle that separates people- – of language – That separates people into two groups

– And linguistics, yeah – But what I'm saying is that many illusions, the reason, like a Yanny, Laurel or the dress, where people split into two categories, there probably is some underlying, fundamental perception of life, or visual perception,

Or auditory perception that puts people into two groups – Okay so you think the dissimilarity is like the language version Oh my God – I think so – When you start to ask people about which one they are, you might even learn a bit about their personality

Because they did personality tests on people with different time perceptions And they found, that people who felt like they had personal agency, who actually felt like their life mattered, were more likely to have the ego-moving perspective,

To see themselves again, moving forward through time Whereas other people, who through a personality test were seen to be more fatalistic, which means that they thought events were inevitable, or pre-determined, were more likely to have the time-moving perspective of time

– And it feels like you're lying to me – Yeah, and it is interesting, because they have done studies where people have just gotten off airplanes and they're more likely to have the ego-moving perspective So they've just moved viscerally through space

And therefore they're more likely to now say, that they are moving through time It's like you can actually change people's perception, which does make me think of more of an illusion – So a plane is like building context around something

I've just moved, so now my brain is actually thinking of it in a way that context around like what time is, is maybe kinda broken down – Yeah, they did the same study where people were moving on a train, and they were more likely to do an ego-moving perspective

Wow, okay, (sighs) well I'm right (Mitch laughs) Show this to your family and friends and find out where they're at Find out if you perceive time differently than your loved ones

– Please let us know I wanna see if it actually is split evenly, 50/50 – No – Or if way more people see one than the other, because to me you're lying It's a true lie Everyone must see 10:00 am

– And I'm so curious about other people's languages I wanna know if people think this is just a ridiculous concept, I don't know – Thank you all for watching and allowing us to destroy your friendships and your relationships

Because you're gonna be arguing with everyone for a long time – And not that it's anything that important, it's just time Yeah, we'll see you soon for a new science video – Bye

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