The lie has short legs: it proves that time is slow for guilt


Albert Einstein was one of the greatest scientists in history, his research based on many modern physics concepts. One of his theories, the Theory of Relativity, which went on to win a Nobel Prize to another scientist and which has been constantly proven since the first photo of a black hole, says among its many elements that Time is relative, passing in a different way for people at different speeds and conditions.

Despite not being exactly related, the idea that time is relative gained a new curious test in a recent study by scientists Izumi Matsuda and Hiroshi Nittono, from the universities of Aoyama Gakuin and Osaka, Japan. The researchers and their teams proved that time passes more slowly for people who feel guilty about something.

“Previous research has shown that time flies when people have fun. As far as we know, however, no research has examined how time is perceived during lying. That’s why we studied this topic, ”said the experts. To prove their point, the researchers gathered 36 students from the institutions and asked them to steal an item from the laboratory, hiding it until the end of the experiment. Those who successfully hid the item would receive a 500 yen prize (~ R $ 25).

The students were then exposed to images of items that flickered on the screen for two seconds, invariably being asked if they had stolen the item shown. The group was divided between “innocents”, who would not see the image of the item they stole, and “guilty”, who would be exposed to the object they took.

Sensors attached to the skin of the culprit group indicated that, upon seeing the item they had picked up, students entered a state of excitement. In addition, members of this group reported that the perception of the passage of time seemed greater when compared to the innocent, even though the time for displaying the items did not change.

According to scientists, “when you are hiding something, you feel that time passes more slowly than normal, because you are in a state of excitement and very vigilant. Not only the thing to be hidden, but also other items are perceived to last longer than normal during this state ”.


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