Friday, 16 September 2011
The "return trip effect," the phenomenon that the trip back from your destination feels quicker, looks like it has some significant evidence of existence. USA Today says that in a study, Psychonomic Bulletin and Review found that travelers felt that the return trip was 17-22% shorter than the first one, even though the trip there and back took the same amount of time.
The travelers would say that their trip to a certain destination took about 44 minutes, and the trip back took about 37 minutes. (When in fact the trip both ways were exactly 35).
So the psychological thinking behind this is that on our way back, we're familiar of the directions, so it seems easier to navigate back home.
Some suggest that the trip back feels quicker, because the initial trip there feels long since "people seem to be too optimistic" on their way there.
Do you get the "return trip effect?" If so, why do you think the trip back feels quicker?