Impatience in Timing Decisions: Effects and Moderation

in Timing & Time Perception
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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.

Impatience in Timing Decisions: Effects and Moderation

in Timing & Time Perception



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    Time differences between start of the round and participants’ checks in the Early condition, and between participant’ checks and end of the round in the Late condition, for the 5 s (left) and 15 s (right) games. The 95% confidence intervals are visualized.

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    The countdown shown to participants. Participants are told that the delay is because their checks are being saved.

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    Feedback shown during a not-live round. The game is in progress and is at point B on the bar. The latest the player has checked is at point A, and as a result, no information about the situation after point A is revealed. The dots on the bar demonstrate the pre-set checks.

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    Feedback shown in a live round. The game is in progress and is at point B on the bar. The latest the player has searched is at point A, and because it is a live round, we can see that the opponent has played at point C. The dots on the bar demonstrate the pre-set checks. The opponent will be caught with the next check.

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    Feedback shown when a round is done. The opponent has played at point A and the participant has caught opponent’s move at point B.

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    Δt in milliseconds for each condition. Lower values indicate earlier checks. See also regression model. The 95% confidence intervals are obtained using bootstrapping.

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    Δt in milliseconds for the secondary conditions. Their principal counterparts are shown as a comparison. Lower values indicate earlier checks.

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    The rate of positive comments for each condition. Standard Errors are shown.

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    Δt rational in milliseconds for each condition. Higher values indicate earlier checks. See also the regression model (Table 7). The 95% confidence intervals are obtained using bootstrapping.

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    Delay estimation for each condition. The 95% confidence intervals are obtained using bootstrapping. The horizontal line shows the actual duration of the delay (15 s).

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    Estimated duration of the round for each condition. The 95% confidence intervals are obtained using bootstrapping. The horizontal line shows the actual duration of the round (30 s). Game round duration is underestimated in all conditions. The difference between the estimated durations is not statistically significant among different conditions.


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