Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants

Title

Eventful Experience Speeds Up Time

Department

Psychology

College

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Date Range

2010-2011

Abstract

Timing is a ubiquitous feature of everyday experience. Although we live in a world in which time is continuous, people tend to segment their experiences into temporally discrete events. During an everyday experience, an observer's perception of how much time has passed may depend on the number of events that the observer perceived to occur. The present study tested this hypothesis in two experiments where participants made prospective temporal judgments while watching movies of people engaged in everyday activities. Participants were trained to reproduce a 30-sec interval, after which they reproduced this interval during eventful and uneventful portions of the movies. Participants made shorter reproductions during eventful than during uneventful movie segments. This suggests that time passed more quickly when the experiences were more eventful, a result that challenges predictions from prominent theories of prospective timing.

Conference Name

Psychonomics

Conference Location

St. Louis, Missouri



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