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Travel as a Source of Stress

Travel as a Source of Stress

Initial analysis of reasons people are late, and insights for exploration around late behavior.



April 09, 2012


  1. Travel to a Meeting as a Source of Stress Rob

    Semmens Learning Sciences and Technology Design School of Education
  2. Why are you late? • People run late for a

    number of reasons: – Some are too busy, with too many demands for their time – Some do not estimate how long sessions will take when scheduling meetings – Some use their tardiness to display power or control – Some do not allow enough time to get from one place to another – Some people get caught up in what they are doing, and lose track of time
  3. Approaches • Non-technical – Planning ahead – Checking appointment book

    frequently – Keeping track of time • Technical – Appointment reminders – Directions with map estimations (estimations that are true averages, not best-case scenario estimates)
  4. Interview Insights • Being late happens under two ends of

    a continuum, knowing where you are going, and finding a new destination – Frequency of visit seems to mediate this spectrum • People often do not give themselves enough time to get from one place to another – Usually, they seem to visualize the best case scenario, without delays, such as no traffic – Incomplete visualization of route, or not counting for a step • Beyond losing track of time, people may delay their departure because what they are doing is interesting, and they don’t want to leave it until the last possible second. • There is no reward for arriving early—in fact, it might be a punishment, because now you have to wait for everyone else.
  5. Questions and Further Exploration • It is likely that people

    are more likely to be on time when traveling between two places to places that they know, and that the frequency of the trip would be predictive • For people who are chronically late, it seems that they would have worse estimates of time to travel distances between two places than those who are usually on time. • Those who rely on public transportation would be highly accurate of time to travel from the house to the train, for example, because of the strong feedback loop associated with missing a train.