Here’s How a Faster Countdown Clock Makes You More Patient

Here’s How a Faster Countdown Clock Makes You More Patient

Applications could lead to safer roadways and other advancements.

Time flies when you’re having fun.

If you’re sitting at the back of the class chewing on a pencil while you’re teacher rants on about the beauty of the Rocky Mountains, it could seem like the class will never end. Place yourself IN Canada’s westernmost provinces though, and that could be another story.

Especially if there’s a fast countdown clock present.

Researchers from Penn State have found that we perceive time as passing more quickly if we’re watching a countdown clock mark it off with speed.

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“Countdowns create a different sense of the time that has passed,” said David Reitter, an associate professor of information sciences and technology. “And a faster countdown creates a sense of a shorter time having passed during the wait, so it alters your sense of time a little bit.”

In the study, researchers used three different clocks to signal the time remaining in a video game. One clock was a slow five-count clock, a second a medium-speed 10-count clock and the last clock had a fast 15-count clock.

Not only were the players who were exposed to the faster countdown able to be more patient during the game, but this continued after it was over.

And, surprisingly, these participants were also able to make more deliberate, wiser choices after the game had finished.

Researchers say they hope the findings can be applied to many real-life situations.

They could affect how traffic and pedestrian crossing signals are designed and programed.

And then there’s computing. Everyone wants to feel more patient during software installations. Now developers may know how to make us feel that way.

For more tips on finding patience, click here.

Photo credits:Min C. Chiu/

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