creativityspren (creativityspren) wrote in little_details,

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Psychology: Nonhuman perception of time, Forgetting one's own name

For purposes of following the established format, my work is a historical fiction, set in 13th-16th century Japan with fantastic elements such as yokai integrated into the world.

I have two psychology related questions:

1) How might a drastically different rate of aging effect someone's perception of time, both independently and compared to standard human aging? Most of my main characters in the novel I'm working on aren't human. They're demons that age at a much different rate from humans, and different species of demons age differently from one another. Here's how my main character ages compared to a human:

Human: 1 year of age = 1 year of growth; MC: 8 and a half years of age = 1 year of growth

Basically, it takes the MC 8 and a half years to attain the full equivalent of one year's development/growth. I imagine that this different rate of aging would fundamentally alter how she (and other nonhumans) perceive the passage of time and years. The typical 4-seasons-a-year is in effect environmentally.

I just don't know how such a long rate of aging would effect one's perception of time. I've looked at the classical fantasy examples (namely elves and dwarves in Tolkien, Paolini, etc.) that age differently from humans, but they don't really talk much about how those species think of the passage of time.

Note: for the MC's species, each "year" is viewed as one part in a cycle that completes itself after they've reached the 8.5 year mark from some yet-unknown start date, at which point, to them, it starts over. It is a buildup to their growth equivalent of one year, like how humans often have New Year's celebrations to mark the symbolic beginning of a new year/cycle of growth/what have you.

2) Is it possible for someone to genuinely forget their given name if addressed and referred to exclusively by a pseudonym for a long enough period of time?

The main character, a prostitute, lives and works under a pseudonym for 85 years, from age 8 to 18, and during that time is not once called by her real name. My thinking was that, under those circumstances, it would be more likely that she would forget her name and identify with her pseudonym alone. Would it be possible for her to eventually remember her real name - with a good deal of effort, a triggering question that causes her to realize she doesn't actually remember it, and mental sifting through the names that stick out in her mind (one of which is her given name)?

Search terms used for both questions include: altered perception of time, time perception theory, theories on animal time perception, time perception, pseudonym, is it possible to forget own name, pseudonym replacing real name, self-identity+name, etc.

All of what I found was related to memory-affective medical conditions (Alzheimer's, dementia, fugue state) or conditions with psychosis as a symptom (some forms of schizophrenia).

Thank you for your help with these somewhat odd questions.

Tags: ~names, ~philosophy, ~psychology & psychiatry (misc)

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