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

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.


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.


Edith Shalev, New York University, USA
Vicki Morwitz, New York University, USA


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36 | 2009

Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More


O11. Have Less, Compromise Less: How the perception of resource scarcity influences compromise decisions

Kate Kooi, University of Miami, USA
Caglar Irmak, University of Miami, USA

Read More


Consuming Commodified Selves – Accelerated Identity Co-Construction Dynamics Through Fashion Performances on Instagram

Jonathan David Schöps, University of Innsbruck, Austria

Read More


Ineffective Altruism: Giving Less When Donations Do More

Joshua Lewis, University of Pennsylvania, USA
Deborah Small, University of Pennsylvania, USA

Read More

Engage with Us

Becoming an Association for Consumer Research member is simple. Membership in ACR is relatively inexpensive, but brings significant benefits to its members.