INTUITIVE RELATIVITY: SPONTANEOUS PERCEPTION OF COSMOS-WISE PSYCHOPHYSICAL RELATIONS BETWEEN TIME AND VELOCITY

  • Nissim Perets

Abstract

Most psychological studies of intuitive physics focused on Newtonian functions. The present explorative venture attempts to extend the notion to cosmos-wise intuitive relativity, using psychophysical measurement of spontaneous perception of changes in acceleration/deceleration of time as a functions of accelerated velocity. It was hypothesized that the related function of more knowledgeable (n = 10, nine physics students and one professor) male participants will be more valid than that of laymen (n = 9), an in-between function was expected to typify the estimations of three other participants with amateurish interest in astrophysics. Based on two simple versions of the "Twins paradox", each examinee was exposed to numerical values deliberated to represent the velocity of a spacecraft in terms of kilometer per second (1,000, 50,000, 100,000, 150,000, 200,000, 250,000, 299,990, 299,993, 299,996 and 299,999). He was asked to estimate instantly the time elapsed after one year of space travel from two perspectives – the spacecraft and earth. As hypothesized, the

estimations of the more educated participants were much closer to the function (interestingly, there was no difference between the students and the professor), while the function of the naïve participants were nearly linear; as expected, the estimated function of the amateurish participants was in-between (see Figures 1 and 2). While the findings are of a mere exploratory nature they seem to mark a takeoff of a rather novel psychological field of research.

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