Does Time Fly When You’Re Counting Down? the Effect of Counting Direction on Subjective Time Judgment

Edith Shalev, New York University, USA
Vicki Morwitz, New York University, USA
The current paper demonstrates that subjective time judgments of experiences that involve counting can be biased by counting direction, i.e. whether people are asked to count upward or downward. Across four studies we find that (a) counting downward results in shorter time estimates and more favorable attitudes towards the counting task than counting upward, (b) the effect is stronger for individuals who are high in need-for-cognition, and (c) the effect is driven by one’s implicit goal. When individuals hold a completion goal towards the counting task, counting down feels shorter. However, when they hold an accomplishment goal, counting up feels shorter.
[ to cite ]:
Edith Shalev and Vicki Morwitz (2009) ,"Does Time Fly When You’Re Counting Down? the Effect of Counting Direction on Subjective Time Judgment", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 1051-1051.