Background: I had a (rental) property that I was planning to put up for sale. Then I "changed my mind" and said that I wanted to wait for the current year's appreciation, and sell in "six months" (from the time our conversation took place in early March). The realtor promised to get back to me in six months. That would have been September.
I called back the realtor almost two months later. He was surprised to hear from me so soon. He said," I thought you wanted to sell in "six months." I said, yes, but we need three months' lead time. Two months to give the tenant 60 days' notice (May and June), under Oregon law, and one month to clean up the place (July). That would give us a target sale date of August (instead of September, originally). OK, I had moved up the sale date one month, but the real issue was three months' lead time.
I had a similar conversation with the property manager, who notified the tenant in March when I first intended to sell, then assured her that this would not happen for a "long time." Now we have to tell the tenant that the notice is "imminent."
What are the cognitive processes of how people measure time, and form a view as to whether or not six months is a "long time? Could the above be an application of e.g. Vierordt's Law, where short intervals are overestimated and longer intervals are underestimated?