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


A11. When Political Neutrality Backfires

Ike Silver, University of Pennsylvania, USA
Alex Shaw, University of Chicago, USA
Rob Kurzban, University of Pennsylvania, USA

Read More


Want to Stick to Your Goals? Think about “Dissimilar” Alternatives that You’ve Forgone!

Hye-young Kim, University of Chicago, USA
Oleg Urminsky, University of Chicago, USA

Read More


Tattoo: A Perspective Beyond Estethics

Luana C. Moraes, Universidade de Sao Paulo
Gabriela L. Pinheiro, Universidade de Sao Paulo
Nathalia S. Arthur, Universidade de Sao Paulo
Eliani C. Flores, Universidad Catolica del Peru
Jose Mauro C. Hernandez, Centro Universitário FEI

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.