1995 Feels so Close Yet so Far: The Effect of Event Markers on Subjective Feelings of Elapsed Time
Posted: 14 Oct 2009
Date Written: June 11, 2009
Why do events that occurred around the same time feel more or less distant? Prior research suggests that characteristics of the event itself can affect the estimated date of its occurrence. Our work differs in that we focus on how characteristics of the time interval following the event affect people’s feelings of elapsed time, as revealed in their everyday expressions of how distant an event seems. We argue that a time interval that is punctuated by a greater number of accessible intervening events that are related to the target event (event markers) — but not unrelated intervening events — will make the target event feel more distant. In three studies we find support for the systematic effect of event markers. The effect of markers is independent of other characteristics of the event, such as its memorability, emotionality, importance, and estimated date, suggesting that this effect is distinct from established dating biases.
Keywords: time perception, duration estimation, dating biases
JEL Classification: D9, M3, D83
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation