Long vacations such as Obon holidays are something that everyone can’t wait for, but when a long vacation is just around the corner, you may feel like you’ve finished it even though it hasn’t started. The reason for this mysterious sensation is explained by Associate Professor Serin Malcock of The Ohio State University, who studies how to maximize happiness by allocating time for work and leisure.
Hello, This is Santoshi.
On my holidays, I sleep until noon to regain my tiredness.
But this makes me regret when I wake up.
I have days to regret, “Oh, the day ended early today.”
I also spend the first half of my vacation leisurely.
I’m sick of the second half.
There was an article recommended for those who are tired of it, including myself.
Why vacations feel like they’re over before they even start
Associate Professor Malcock focused on Thanksgiving to investigate the feeling that “it feels like it’s not started but it’s over”. Associate Professor Malcock thought Thanksgiving was a good place to study, while most Americans were looking forward to it, because of the stress of cooking, the hassle of cleaning, and the interaction with family members he hadn’t seen in a long time. It is said that some people thought that they were afraid of Thanksgiving because of their anxiety.
On the day before Thanksgiving in 2019, Associate Professor Malcock asked 510 subjects gathered online, “Are you looking forward to Thanksgiving?” “How far does it feel like the beginning of Thanksgiving?” We asked them to rate each degree on a 100-point scale for the question, “How far do you feel the end of Thanksgiving?”
Most people think that when they’re looking forward to something, they want it to happen as soon as possible and continue forever, but in general, it seems like the fun events don’t come more than they think. On top of that, I feel like it will end soon when the time comes. This feeling is also reflected in the results of this experiment, and the subjects’ responses confirmed that “the more people are looking forward to Thanksgiving, the farther they feel that Thanksgiving is over”.
Just as the phrase “fun time goes by in a blink of an eye”, a 2009 study found that when people felt that time had passed in a blink of an eye, people tended to find it attractive and enjoyable. It has been suggested. From these results, Associate Professor Malcock estimates that “people tend to over-think future events that fun events will soon pass.” This result was combined with the feeling that “I can’t wait for the event I’m looking forward to”, and as a result, I predicted that the phenomenon of “I feel like it’s over even though it hasn’t started” will occur.
To confirm this prediction, Associate Professor Malcock conducted an experiment in which the subject was asked to go on a trip on the weekend, and to imagine a situation in which a fun / painful event would occur during the trip. As before, we asked the questions “How far do you feel the start date of the trip?” And “How far do you feel the last day of the trip?” And evaluated each degree on a 100-point scale. When asked, 46% of the subjects who imagined that a fun event would occur set the sensory distance between the start date and the last day to be about the same, resulting in “believing that the trip will end soon”. I found out.
From the series of results, Associate Professor Malcock did not ask “how far does the fun event feel?” Or “how soon does it feel like it will end?” I guess it would be better to ask “how much” to reduce the number of people who feel that it will end soon because it is fun. To confirm this guess, he told the subject, “Think of watching two five-minute videos in a row,” and told the content of the second video that it was “more interesting / boring than the first.” How many minutes do you think the second video will last? ”
As a result, in the case where the subject “the second video is more interesting than the first”, the subject estimated that the video was shorter than the actual length, as expected. However, this estimated time is longer than the case of “asking the sensory distance between the start time and the end time” performed in the previous experiments, and the hearing “asking specifically the length of time”. It was suggested that this would reduce the feeling that “it feels like it has ended even though it has not started”.
From the above results, Associate Professor Malcock said, “When there is an event that you are looking forward to, such as a vacation, it is important to think about how many days it will be, not the start and last dates.”