Memory & Cognition

, Volume 16, Issue 5, pp 461–468

Telescoping in dating naturally occurring events

  • Charles P. Thompson
  • John J. Skowronski
  • D. John Lee


Telescoping effects in date estimation were examined in four diary studies. The data show that substantial telescoping can begin as soon as 8 weeks after an event occurs. These studies also found a slight, but typically nonreliable, tendency to make time expansion errors for recent events. Analyses of these data showed that telescoping cannot be attributed to the clarity-of-memory hypothesis proposed by Bradburn, Rips, and Shevell (1987) or to an artifact produced by guessing. An implicit strategy involving estimation of the number of intervening events was proposed to account for the results.

Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles P. Thompson
    • 1
  • John J. Skowronski
    • 2
  • D. John Lee
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyKansas State UniversityManhattan
  2. 2.Ohio State University at NewarkNewark
  3. 3.Tabor CollegeHillsboro

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