Time, emotion, and depression



Publication Details

Gallagher, S. 2012, 'Time, emotion, and depression', Emotion Review, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 127-132.


I examine several aspects of the experience of time in depression and in the experience of different emotions. Both phenomenological and experimental studies show that depressed subjects have a slowed experience of time flow and tend to overestimate time spans. In comparison to patients in control conditions, depressed patients tend to be preoccupied with past events, and less focused on present and future events. Recent empirical findings in studies of emotion perception show different degrees of over- or underestimation of time in perception of faces showing different emotions compared with neutral faces. Clinical phenomenology predicts that the effects on time estimation would not be additive if these tests were conducted with depressed subjects.

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