Why the pandemic is confusing our perception of time. Let our expert explain how our sense of time has been distorted during the current pandemic.

Why the pandemic is confusing our perception of time. Let our expert explain how our sense of time has been distorted during the current pandemic. Why the pandemic is confusing our perception of time. Let our expert explain how our sense of time has been distorted during the current pandemic.

November 18, 20202 min read
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It has been a long year. And while the devastating impacts of the pandemic continue to be felt globally, one response is universal: we wake up wondering what day of the week — or even what month — it is. Spring became summer and suddenly Thanksgiving is upon us. There is no doubt COVID-19 has distorted our sense of time.


But what is happening and why?



UC San Diego’s Craig Callender has been spending a lot of his time trying to help researchers and journalists answer that same question.


“Craig Callender Ph.D, a professor of philosophy at UC San Diego, says that "a big distinction in the psychology of time perception is between retrospective judgements and prospective judgements." Retrospective judgements happen, according to Callender, when we think back over a measure of time and estimate how long it seems to us. Prospective judgment looks to the future where we’re estimating how long the time in front of us will actually feel like. "Think of the difference between how long you assume a movie will feel before you watch it, versus how long it felt after you watch it," Callender says. If you liked Parasite, you might say, “I thought it would drag on but it really flew by.” In reality, the movie of course had the same run time for both people who enjoyed it and zipped through it people who disliked it and were dragged through it.”  April 29 - Bustle.com



It's a fascinating topic and one that has likely impacted just about every person living though this global pandemic – and if you’re a reporter looking to know more about how COVID-19 is confusing our sense of time, then let our experts help with your coverage.


In 2015, Craig Callender had the “big idea” to make UC San Diego a major voice on ethical science, and just two years later he helped launch the Institute for Practical Ethics. He specializes in environmental ethics and the philosophy of science, physics, metaphysics and time, and his 2017 book “What Makes Time Special?” won the prestigious Lakatos Award, given annually for outstanding contributions to the Philosophy of Science.


He was also recently featured on NewsPoint360 where he explains this idea during an in-depth and detailed talk about the topic.



Craig is available to speak with media regarding the ethics of today’s rapid innovation – simply click on his icon to arrange time for an interview.



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  • Craig Callender
    Craig Callender Professor of Philosophy

    Craig Callender specializes in environmental ethics and the philosophy of science, physics, metaphysics and time.

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