(Waiting) time flies when the tune flows: music influences affective responses to waiting by changing the subjective experience of passing time
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Researchers often focus on perceived (i.e. estimated) duration or deviations from expected duration when examining the effects of atmospheric music on waiting and customer satisfaction. Comparatively little attention has been given to whether an interval feels as though it has "dragged" on versus "flown" by compared to the normal pace of time passage. In a laboratory experiment, subjects waiting for an important event to begin reported more negative affective states when disliked rather than liked music was played during the interval. This effect was completely mediated by their subjective experience of the interval as having passed more slowly or quickly than usual when disliked versus liked music was played, respectively, whereas neither deviations from their expected waiting time nor estimates of actual duration were related to reported affective states.