The time-saving bias

The time-saving bias: Judgements, cognition and perception

Ola Svenson
Lars Eriksson

Biases in people's judgments of time saved by increasing the speed of an activity have been studied mainly with hypothetical scenarios (Svenson, 2008). The present study asked whether the classic time-saving bias persists as a perceptual bias when we control the speed of an activity and assess the perceived time elapsed at different speeds. Specifically, we investigated the time-saving bias in a driving simulator. Each participant was asked to first drive a distance at a given speed and then drive the same distance again at the speed she or he judged necessary to gain exactly three minutes in travel time compared to the first trip. We found that that the time-saving bias applies to active driving and that it affects the choice of driving speed. The drivers' time-saving judgements show that the perception of the time elapsed while driving does not eliminate the time-saving bias.

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