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The Influence of Music on Consumers' Temporal Perceptions: Does Time Fly When You're Having Fun?

James J. Kellaris and Robert J. Kent
Journal of Consumer Psychology
Vol. 1, No. 4 (1992), pp. 365-376
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1480665
Page Count: 12
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The Influence of Music on Consumers' Temporal Perceptions: Does Time Fly When You're Having Fun?
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Abstract

The perceived duration of a time period may be influenced by properties of environmental stimuli that fill the period. Because music is often present in consumer environments, we conducted an experiment to explore the influence of a musical stimulus property (modality) on listeners' estimates of the duration of a time period. Findings suggest that perceptions of duration are influenced by music in a way that contradicts conventional wisdom (i.e., the "time flies when you're having fun" hypothesis). Perceived duration was longest for subjects exposed to positively valenced (major key) music, and shortest for negatively valenced (atonal) music. Thus, time did not fly when an interval was filled with affectively positive stimulation. An alternative hypothesis based on attentional and retrieval processes is supported. Implications for the design of consumer environments and for future research are discussed.

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