August 24, 2012


Why does the return journey feel quicker? (WILLIAM REVILLE, 8/16/12, Irish Times)

When you recall the duration of a past experience you must rely on your memory of the event - "retrospective timing". The main psychological model that explains retrospective timing is the "contextual change model". You estimate the duration of the event by recalling the data stored in your memory of the event. The more data stored, the longer the estimation of the duration of the event.

However, different amounts of information can be stored in memory during identical clock-time intervals, depending on several factors, eg the intensity of the information processing in which one is engaged. The higher the intensity, the longer the duration seems to be. In a classic experiment, participants were asked to memorise either a simple [a circle] or complex figure . Although the clock-time allocated to each task was identical, participants later estimated the duration of memorising the complex shape to be significantly longer than for the simple shape.

Posted by at August 24, 2012 5:28 AM

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