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Journal Articles Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences Year : 2010

Changing time and emotions

Abstract

In this paper, we consider that our experience of time (to come) depends on the emotions we feel when we imagine future pleasant or unpleasant events. A positive emotion such as relief or joy associated with a pleasant event that will happen in the future induces impatience. Impatience, in our context, implies that the experience of time up to the forthcoming event expands. A negative emotion such as grief or frustration associated with an unpleasant event that will happen in the future triggers anxiety. This will give the experience of time contraction. Time, therefore, is not exogeneously given to the individual and emotions, which link together events or situations, are a constitutive ingredient of the experience of time. Our theory can explain experimental evidence that people tend to prefer to perform painful actions earlier than pleasurable ones, contrary to the predictions yielded by the standard exponential discounting framework.

Dates and versions

halshs-00754490 , version 1 (20-11-2012)

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Pierre-Yves Geoffard, Stéphane Luchini. Changing time and emotions. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 2010, 365 (1538), pp.271-280. ⟨10.1098/rstb.2009.0178⟩. ⟨halshs-00754490⟩
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