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The effect of a ticking clock on task performance

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We examined the influence of a ticking clock on task performance using a laboratory experiment. We investigated how performance changed in response to various clock ticking speeds using a trick clock that allowed us to control its ticking speed. We found that the subjects’ performance was influenced by the speed at which the clock ticked: Particularly, individuals showed slower performance when exposed to a slow-ticking clock. We demonstrated that common environmental stimuli encountered in daily life, such as the ticking of a clock, have a significant effect on human behavior.

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  1. At this time, the exchange rate was about $1 = ¥91.

  2. The fixed effects panel model can control unobserved heterogeneity among individuals using dummy variables. Refer to econometrics textbooks, such as that by Baltagi (2013), for more information.


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We thank Yoshihiro Miyai, Tomoya Nishi, and Koushirou Kane for the development of the materials of our experiment. We are also indebted to Shunichiro Oka and Yuki Nakauchi for their assistance with our experiment.

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Correspondence to Shoko Yamane.

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Yamane, S., Matsumura, N. The effect of a ticking clock on task performance. AI & Soc 30, 443–449 (2015).

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