Abstract

Experience sampling examined how temporality, the lived experience of time, varied related to specific activity qualities and experiences in everyday life. Thirty-five students completed electronic surveys regarding their current activity and feelings and rated the activity's novelty and complexity, their depth of emotional and intellectual engagement, the direction and depth of attention, and the demands of the activity on their skills. Using configural frequency analysis and an analysis of narrative responses, configurations of factors (types) associated with variations in perceived temporalities were described. Four composite types identified occurred with any temporality. In most habitual activities, time was perceived as passing the same as clock time. Most faster or timeless temporalities occurred in complex, novel, and skill-requiring activities that engaged participants. Unexpected activity configurations were also associated with accelerated perceptions of time. Occupational therapists may use this knowledge to assist clients to redesign activities that promote positive experiences without high activity demands.

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