Tag Archive for time perception

RE: Deadline Pressure Distorts Our Sense of Time

Article:  Herbert, W. (2011). “Deadline Pressure Distorts Our Sense of Time.” scientificamerican.com. Visited on October 9th, 2012: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=looming-deadlines Summary:  The perceived difficulty and deadline pressure associated with a task alters our perception of time. In an initial study, subject were presented with a series of tasks of varying difficulty and asked how far away the day of completion felt to them. The tasks that were more complex and work intensive were perceived as being further in the future. To arrive at this result our brains are translating effort into time, assuming that the more difficult tasks must be further away since they will require more work to complete. An opposite effect is encountered when deadlines are associated with the tasks. If subjects are presented with either an easy or difficult task that they must complete by a set date in the future, those with the more complex and effortful task report that the date feels much closer to them than those with the simple task. This effect may sometimes cause us to feel overwhelmed as multiple complex tasks pile up on us, but our skewed perception of time also ensures that we typically complete necessary tasks within the actual amount of time…