Although people recover from satiation with the natural passage of time, we examine whether it is possible to influence the recovery process merely by changing the perceived temporal distance from past consumption. Experiment 1, a field experiment, demonstrates that influencing the perceived temporal distance from dinner-goers' last meal affects the caloric value of the meal purchased (more recent leads to smaller food purchase). In a lab environment controlling for objective temporal distance and initial satiation, Experiment 2 demonstrates that these changes in perceived temporal distance also affect the actual enjoyment of an experience (listening to a favored song). Beyond these reconstructed temporal judgments, Experiment 3 directly manipulates the perceived length of the intervening period since last consumption using an altered time clock, and replicates these effects on satiation. Our findings illustrate that simple manipulations of subjective time perception can influence consumption, even in the presence of very real physiological inputs, and provide further insight into how satiation is constructed.
- Subjective temporal distance