The speed of a countdown clock affected the patience and decision-making of video game players, both during and after the game. A faster countdown with more numbers may make it seem like time is passing faster, which reduces impatience and encourage more deliberate decision-making.
The experiments were carried out by researchers at Penn state university. Participants displayed more patience when the clock quickly counted down the time remaining, compared to when the clock slowly ticked off the countdown. The researchers used three different clocks to signal the time remaining in the game a slow, five-count clock, a medium-speed 10-count clock and a fast 15-count clock. They found that the players who were exposed to the quick countdown were also more likely to make more deliberate, wiser choices even after the game.
These findings could apply to designing traffic and pedestrian crossing signals, as well as other devices, where impatience may affect safety. Interface designers may be able to use this information to develop software tools that are more user-friendly.