Actors, Observers, and the Estimation of Task Duration

THE QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY, 2012, iFirst, 1–17

Posted: 9 Jul 2014 Last revised: 11 Jul 2014

See all articles by Michael M. Roy

Michael M. Roy

Elizabethtown College - Department of Psychology

Nicholas Christenfeld

University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

Meghan Jones

Elizabethtown College - Department of Psychology

Date Written: July 7, 2014

Abstract

People are often wrong in estimating both how long tasks have taken in the past and how long they will take in the future. Bias could be due to factors such as task involvement, an individual’s engagement or motivation in completing the task, or aspects of the task such as its relative duration or memory storage size associated with it. We examined time estimation bias in actors (likely to experience high levels of task involvement) and observers (likely to experience low levels of task involvement) for both predictions of and memory of task duration. Results suggest that bias appears to be due to memory storage size rather than to involvement with the task.

Suggested Citation

Roy, Michael M. and Christenfeld, Nicholas and Jones, Meghan, Actors, Observers, and the Estimation of Task Duration (July 7, 2014). THE QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY, 2012, iFirst, 1–17, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2463265

Michael M. Roy (Contact Author)

Elizabethtown College - Department of Psychology ( email )

One Alpha Drive
Elizabethtown, PA 17022
United States

Nicholas Christenfeld

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Mail Code 0502
La Jolla, CA 92093-0112
United States

Meghan Jones

Elizabethtown College - Department of Psychology

One Alpha Drive
Elizabethtown, PA 17022
United States

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