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Vierordt's law is "a robust phenomenon in time estimation research that has been observed with different time estimation methods". It states that, retrospectively, "short" intervals of time tend to be overestimated, and "long" intervals of time tend to be underestimated. The other major paradigm of time estimation methodology measures time prospectively.
The cut-off point between what is considered "short" and "long" - and therefore between overestimation and underestimation - is between 2 and 10 minutes depending on the task e.g. Yarmey.A.D. (2000). The percentage of underestimation grows as task duration increases.
- Fortin, C. and Rousseau, R. (1998) Interference from short-term memory processing on encoding and reproducing brief durations. Psychological Research 61, pp. 269-276.