How Our Minds Warp Our Perception of Time on Vacation

We’ve all heard the colloquialism “time flies when you are having fun,” but a new study has found that anticipation of a fun event also makes it feel like it is over too soon.

The researchers found that people view future positive events as both further away and shorter in duration when compared to negative or neutral events.

The study authors stated that these two elements have an unusual effect when people think about a positive event like a vacation. The interminable waiting compiled with the feeling that the event will be done too quickly makes them view the beginning and the end of the event as similarly far from the present.

Simply stated, in our minds the vacation has no duration, it is over instantaneously. Another affect this all has on the mind is it makes the mind believe the endpoints of positive and negative events are both distant from the present. Anticipating a negative event, like a work trip we don’t want to go on, reserves the effect, people feel like the negative event will happen immediately and last forever.

The Journal of Consumer Psychology will publish the paper online.


New Study Looks at Consumer Perception of the Peer-to-Peer Economy

A new study examined how consumers view, for example, the difference between a taxi driver working for a cab company and a driver from a rideshare app like Uber.

According to the new study, consumers see themselves as helpers to the independent workers, like a Lyft or Uber driver. When using a more traditional company, like a taxi service, they don’t view themselves as helping the employee but rather that they are purchasing a service.

Researchers say that peer-to-peer business, like Airbnb, is changing how consumers view some service providers. Previous studies have noted that consumers think of employees as simply an extension of the company.

These different viewpoints have had a strong influence over how firms like Airbnb or Uber market themselves to consumers. It could also have an influence over how people tip independent providers and what kind of regulations consumers would support in the sharing economy.

The results of this new study demonstrated that peer-to-peer companies had better success with marketing campaigns that focused on the people that provide their service. The study also demonstrated that they had less success when their marketing focused on the image of the company or how their app worked.