Posted by & filed under Child Development, Cognitive Development: The Information-Processing Approach, Consciousness, Early Social and Emotional development, Sensation-Perception, Sensory-Perceptual Development.

Description: “Are we nearly there yet?” Even if you have not (yet) heard that question being asked (over and over and over) in a small voice from the backseat of your family car you have heard it used as a sort of social meme tossed out in social situations that are or seem to be tedious and have no end in sight. If you were theorizing and hypothesizing about why children almost universally involved the line while being taken on long trip what would you have to say or suggest? Also, while it is classically a child’s line there ARE situations and places where adults have the same sorts of feelings. When do those adult situations arise? What do they have in common with the experience of the young, bored, wanting be arrive backseat child? Once you hve your hypotheses in order give the linked article a read to see what it suggests.

Source: ‘Are we nearly there yet’: why long car journeys are so excruciating for your kids, Ruth Ogden, The Conversation.

Date: August 26, 2022

Image by Tom Staziker  from Pixabay

Article Link: https://theconversation.com/are-we-nearly-there-yet-why-long-car-journeys-are-so-excruciating-for-your-kids-189347

The idea that time passes differently (and more slowly) for children is perhaps not a huge surprise, and clearly makes sense. The idea that the link between that child experience and some adult experiences in temporal uncertainty made a lot off sense to me, though I did not see it coming. Lack of control and other “watched pots” in life mess rather significantly with our experience of the passage of time (or temporal sense). As with driving on long trips with children, we can manage such situations more effectively with planning (and on-board movies!).

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What factors contribute to children constantly asking “are we nearly there yet” on long driving trips?
  2. What sorts of situations lead adults to think if not say versions of “are we nearly there yet”?
  3. What advice might the research discussed in the article offer to families planning road trip and to adults waiting for luggage or caught in a traffic jam or waiting for a pot to boil?

References (Read Further):

Hancock, P. A. (2010). The effect of age and sex on the perception of time in life. The American Journal of Psychology, 123(1), 1-13. Link

Friedman, W. J., & Janssen, S. M. (2010). Aging and the speed of time. Acta Psychologica, 134(2), 130-141. Link

Wearden, J. H. (2005). The wrong tree: Time perception and time experience in the elderly. Measuring the mind: Speed, age, and control, 137-158. Link

Zakay, D. (2015). The temporal-relevance temporal-uncertainty model of prospective duration judgment. Consciousness and cognition, 38, 182-190. Abstract Link

Zakay, D. (2015). The temporal-relevance temporal-uncertainty model of prospective duration judgment. Consciousness and cognition, 38, 182-190. Abstract Link

Block, R. A., & Gruber, R. P. (2014). Time perception, attention, and memory: a selective review. Acta psychologica, 149, 129-133. Link

Ogden, R. S., Henderson, J., McGlone, F., & Richter, M. (2019). Time distortion under threat: Sympathetic arousal predicts time distortion only in the context of negative, highly arousing stimuli. PloS one, 14(5), e0216704. Link