The Return Trip Effect: Why the Return Trip Often Seems to Take Less Time

Psychon Bull Rev (2011) 18:827–832

6 Pages Posted: 9 Jul 2014

See all articles by Niels van de Ven

Niels van de Ven

Tilburg University

Leon van Rijswijk

Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE)

Michael M. Roy

Elizabethtown College - Department of Psychology

Date Written: July 7, 2014

Abstract

Three studies confirm the existence of the return trip effect: The return trip often seems shorter than the initial trip, even though the distance traveled and the actual time spent traveling are identical. A pretest shows that people indeed experience a return trip effect regularly, and the effect was found on a bus trip (Study 1), a bicycle trip (Study 2), and when participants watched a video of someone else traveling (Study 3). The return trip effect also existed when another, equidistant route was taken on the return trip, showing that it is not familiarity with the route that causes this effect. Rather, it seems that a violation of expectations causes this effect.

Suggested Citation

van de Ven, Niels and van Rijswijk, Leon and Roy, Michael M., The Return Trip Effect: Why the Return Trip Often Seems to Take Less Time (July 7, 2014). Psychon Bull Rev (2011) 18:827–832, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2463266

Niels Van de Ven (Contact Author)

Tilburg University ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, DC Noord-Brabant 5000 LE
Netherlands

Leon Van Rijswijk

Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE)

PO Box 513
Eindhoven, 5600 MB
Netherlands

Michael M. Roy

Elizabethtown College - Department of Psychology ( email )

One Alpha Drive
Elizabethtown, PA 17022
United States

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