The path more traveled seems longer

February 11, 2006

A Manchester University study may explain why a daily commute can seem to grow longer the more it is traveled.

Andrew Crompton had 140 architecture students estimate the distance from the university's student union building to familiar destinations along a straight road.

First-year students estimated the mile-long path to be about 1.24 miles on average, while third-year students estimated it to be 1.45 miles.

Another group of students were asked to estimate a 550-yard stretch along a cluttered tourist village in Portmeirion, Wales, and in Manchester. The village distance seemed further, because it was packed with more details for people to look at, Crompton found.

The findings were published on Nature News.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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