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You're Having Fun When Time Flies: The Hedonic Consequences of Subjective Time Progression

7 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2008 Last revised: 23 Jan 2010

Aaron M. Sackett

University of St. Thomas

Tom Meyvis

New York University (NYU) - Department of Marketing

Leif D. Nelson

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business

Benjamin A. Converse

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Anna L. Sackett

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

Seven studies test the hypothesis that people use subjective time progression in hedonic evaluation. When people believe that time has passed unexpectedly quickly, they rate tasks as more engaging, noises as less irritating, and songs as more enjoyable. We propose that felt time distortion operates as a metacognitive cue that people implicitly attribute to their enjoyment of an experience (i.e., time flew, so it must have been fun). Consistent with this attribution account, the effects of felt time distortion on enjoyment ratings were moderated by the need for attribution, the strength of the "time flies" naive theory, and the presence of an attribution alternative. These findings suggest a previously unexplored process through which subjective time progression can influence the hedonic evaluation of experiences.

Keywords: time, hedonic experiences, metacognition

JEL Classification: M39

Suggested Citation

Sackett, Aaron M. and Meyvis, Tom and Nelson, Leif D. and Converse, Benjamin A. and Sackett, Anna L., You're Having Fun When Time Flies: The Hedonic Consequences of Subjective Time Progression (2010). Psychological Science, Vol. 21, No. 1, pp. 111-117. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1209510

Aaron M. Sackett (Contact Author)

University of St. Thomas ( email )

2115 Summit Avenue
Mail MCH 316
Saint Paul, MN 55105
United States

Tom Meyvis

New York University (NYU) - Department of Marketing ( email )

Henry Kaufman Ctr
44 W 4 St.
New York, NY
United States

Leif D. Nelson

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business ( email )

545 Student Services Building, #1900
2220 Piedmont Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Benjamin A. Converse

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Anna L. Sackett

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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