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Spatial categorization and time perception: why does it take less time to get home?

Raghubir, Priya, Morwitz, Vicki G. and Chakravarti, Amitav ORCID: 0009-0001-1805-183X (2011) Spatial categorization and time perception: why does it take less time to get home? Journal of Consumer Psychology, 21 (2). pp. 192-198. ISSN 1057-7408

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.jcps.2010.08.006


This paper identifies a new bias in consumers' timeperceptions — consumers perceive a journey from a destination to home to be faster than a trip from home to the same destination. In three experiments we demonstrate that this effect occurs both for short trips and for long trips to and from home. We also show that this effect occurs for other familiar locations in addition to home. We discuss several possible causes for this effect and offer preliminary support for one possible reason that involves differences in how consumers spatially encode “home” vs. a destination. Since home is extremely familiar it enjoys a rich mental representation, and therefore, consumers may encode it as a relatively larger geographical area than the less familiar destination. We offer preliminary evidence that this can lead to a directional asymmetry in their feelings of trip progress.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2011 Society for Consumer Psychology
Divisions: Management
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2011 09:24
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 01:18

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