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Do Changes in the Pace of Events Affect One-Off Judgments of Duration?
Published: Thursday, March 28, 2013
Author: Hannah M. Darlow et al.

by Hannah M. Darlow, Alexandra S. Dylman, Ana I. Gheorghiu, William J. Matthews

Five experiments examined whether changes in the pace of external events influence people’s judgments of duration. In Experiments 1a–1c, participants heard pieces of music whose tempo accelerated, decelerated, or remained constant. In Experiment 2, participants completed a visuo-motor task in which the rate of stimulus presentation accelerated, decelerated, or remained constant. In Experiment 3, participants completed a reading task in which facts appeared on-screen at accelerating, decelerating, or constant rates. In all experiments, the physical duration of the to-be-judged interval was the same across conditions. We found no significant effects of temporal structure on duration judgments in any of the experiments, either when participants knew that a time estimate would be required (prospective judgments) or when they did not (retrospective judgments). These results provide a starting point for the investigation of how temporal structure affects one-off judgments of duration like those typically made in natural settings.
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