Telescoping Effect

The telescoping effect is the mind's ability to temporally displace events. Specifically, it is perceiving recent events as being more remote (backward telescoping) or viewing distant events as being more recent than they actually are (forward telescoping). As we grow older it is easy to remember something pleasant (like a favorite TV show) and think, "That wasn't all that long ago," when in reality it was actually many years (or even decades) ago, or to look back at something dramatic that happened a year or two ago (like an illness or accident that was recovered from) and think, "That was a long time ago." This is probably related to the mind's preference to dwell on pleasant memories and downplay the unpleasant ones.

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