By Heather Brown

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For most Minnesota kids, school starts in about a week and half. For most parents, summer has just flown by.

So, why does time seem to speed up as we get older? We spoke with Psychologist Ben Denkinger, who runs the Aging Lab at Augsburg University.

“I think it’s an illusion that’s caused by memory and attention systems,” Denkinger said. “I think there’s a lot of different things that all combine and they all kind of tell part of the story.”

First, there’s the theory of ratios – that one year to a four-year-old is a much larger percentage of their life compared to one year in the life of a 40-year-old.

But, Denkinger says it’s more than just math. As adults, we have a lot more on our plate, and we’re a lot more regimented.

“It really boils down to us being a lot busier with a lot more routine tasks as we get older,” he said. “The more you’re paying attention to other stuff, not paying attention to the passage of time, time slips away from you.”

And what happens when you’re a kid plays a role, too.

“I think little kids are stuck in this period where they’re recording all this new information, and they’re learning so much new stuff,” Denkinger said. “As a result, when you look back at it, there’s a lot to go on and it makes time seem like it was really full and took a long time.”

Want to slow things down a bit? You can, but it’s doesn’t sound like fun.

“Unfortunately, the way to slow time down is awful. It’s by making yourself as bored as possible,” he said.

Heather Brown

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