Impatience in Timing Decisions: Effects and Moderation

Moojan Ghafurian, David Reitter

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Decisions on when to act are critical in many health care, safety and security situations, where acting too early or too late can both lead to huge costs or losses. In this paper, impatience is investigated as a bias affecting timing decisions, and is successfully manipulated and moderated. Experiment 1 (N = 123) shows that in different tasks with the same duration, participants perform better when acting early is advantageous, as compared to when acting late is. Experiment 2 (N = 701) manipulates impatience and shows that impatience induced by delays (a) affects timing decisions in the subsequent tasks, (b) increases a tendency to receive information faster, only for a few seconds, with cost and no gain, and (c) reduces satisfaction in the subsequent task. Furthermore, impatience is significantly moderated by showing fast countdowns during the delays. Experiment 3 (N = 304) shows that the mechanism behind this impatience moderation is altered time perception and presents trade-offs between duration perception and duration recall.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-219
Number of pages37
JournalTiming and Time Perception
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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