Construction of Activity Duration and Time Management Potential

Applied Cognitive Psychology (Impact Factor: 1.67). 04/1994; 8(2):155 - 168. DOI: 10.1002/acp.2350080206


Two experiments examined the estimation of event duration. In Experiment 1 subjects estimated the expected duration of five everyday activities, performed the activities, and then made retrospective estimates of the duration of the activities. Expected and retrospective estimates were positively correlated, even when actual duration was taken into account suggesting both estimates may have been constructed partly from general knowledge of activity duration. Experiment 2 examined the ability to predict activity duration within a time management framework. Results indicated that subjects' accuracy in predicting the duration of a series of events was not related to time management ability as measured by the Time Structure Questionnaire (TSQ). Subjects generally made overestimations, and this tendency may be a strategy that gives a feeling of control over time and helps avoid stress caused by an inability to complete tasks in the allocated time. No relationship was found between expected duration estimation ability and academic performance.

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