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Why the Return Trip Always Seems Faster

Does
getting home from a trip seem to take less time than getting there? There’s
a scientific explanation for that!

NPR’s Morning Edition explains the psychological phenomenon called the
"return trip effect":

Here’s what van de Ven thinks is going on: "Often we see that
people are too optimistic when they start to travel," he says.
So when they finish the outbound trip, they feel like it took longer
than they expected. That feeling of pessimism carries over to when they’re
ready to return home. "So you start the return journey, and you
think, ‘Wow, this is going to take a long time.’"

But just as initial optimism made the trip out feel longer than
expected, this pessimism starting back makes the trip home feel shorter.

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Date
September 6th, 2011

Author
Stranger to the World

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