Perceived Causality as a Cue to Temporal Distance

5 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2009  

David Faro

London Business School

France Leclerc

University of Chicago

Reid Hastie

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

Date Written: January 3, 2005

Abstract

The three experiments reported show that judgments of elapsed time between events depend on perceived causal relations between the events. Participants judged pairs of causally related events to occur closer together in time than pairs of causally unrelated events that were separated by the same actual time interval. The causality-time relationship was first demonstrated for time judgments about historical events. Causally related events
were judged to be significantly closer together in time than causally unrelated events. In two subsequent experiments, perceived causality was manipulated by providing expert information and by asking the participants themselves to imagine causal relationships between the to-be-judged events. Again, substantial and reliable effects of perceived causality were obtained. Our results suggest that people use strength of perceived causality as a cue to infer temporal distance.

Suggested Citation

Faro, David and Leclerc, France and Hastie, Reid, Perceived Causality as a Cue to Temporal Distance (January 3, 2005). Psychological Science, Vol. 16, No. 9, p. 673, 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1515866

David Faro (Contact Author)

London Business School ( email )

Sussex Place
Regents
London, London NW1 4SA
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.london.edu

France Leclerc

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Reid Hastie

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

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