Duration sensitivity of key moments

Evan Weingarten, Gal Zauberman, Kristin Diehl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The role of duration in the evaluation of experiences has been a topic of great interest. Extensive research finds “duration neglect,” defined as the duration of experiences exerting only a negligible direct effect on overall evaluations of experiences over that of key moments, usually peak and end. In contrast, we argue that the temporal location of key moments that are embedded in an experience affects how people experience these key moments. Thus, duration enters overall evaluations indirectly through the experience of key moments. Seven studies, as well as three supplementary studies, employing diverse designs and analyses find that temporal location affects the evaluation of peak and end, and consequently duration has a significant indirect effect on overall evaluations, while also replicating duration neglect. Establishing duration-dependent key moments in the evaluation of experiences, our account also uniquely predicts, and we subsequently test, that the temporal location of key moments matters for evaluations of experiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104750
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Duration-neglect
  • Evaluations
  • Experiences
  • Peak-end rule
  • Time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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