Temporal concepts and predicted duration judgments

Marilyn G. BOLTZ, Yen Na Cherry YUM

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The present research investigated whether certain conceptualizations of time influence the planning fallacy or the tendency to underestimate predicted task durations. In Experiment 1, participants were presented with one of three types of primes (video, linguistic, video. +. linguistic) that reflected either an ego or time motion perspective (i.e. an individual moving through time vs. time moving toward an individual). Afterwards, all participants predicted the amount of time required to sort and shelve a stack of journals before actually completing the task. The results showed that across all priming conditions, subjects in the ego motion condition underestimated to a greater extent than those in the time motion condition. Experiment 2 replicated this effect and also found that underestimations are reduced when the implied duration of the experimental session is short vs. long. As a set, these findings have relevant theoretical implications and suggest some potential de-biasing techniques. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)895-904
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010


Boltz, M. G., & Yum, Y. N. (2010). Temporal concepts and predicted duration judgments. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46(6), 895-904. doi: 10.1016/j.jesp.2010.07.002


  • Predicted duration
  • Planning fallacy
  • Temporal concepts


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