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Dynamics of temporal experience in active and passive waiting situations

Ehret, Sonja; Trukenbrod, Anna K.; Thomaschke, Roland

FG Psychologie Neuer Medien und Methodenlehre

Activities can have substantial impacts on temporal experience. We investigated how the impact of being active develops dynamically over the course of long waiting times. Participants waited in a library building, either sitting passively or walking around actively, for between 60 and 100 minutes. Retrospectively, they reported how different aspects of their temporal experiences developed throughout their wait: duration judgments, passage of time judgments, and general awareness of time. Duration was estimated to be shorter in the passive than in the active condition throughout the wait. In an early phase, the passage of time felt slower and time awareness was felt to be higher in the passive condition. Yet, this difference was resolved over the course of the wait. We conclude that the effects of activity on temporal experiences decrease over longer waiting periods.