Time perception and attention: The effects of prospective versus retrospective paradigms and task demands on perceived duration

@article{Brown1985TimePA,
  title={Time perception and attention: The effects of prospective versus retrospective paradigms and task demands on perceived duration},
  author={S W Brown},
  journal={Perception \& Psychophysics},
  year={1985},
  volume={38},
  pages={115-124}
}
  • S. W. Brown
  • Published 1 March 1985
  • Psychology
  • Perception & Psychophysics
This research was designed to compare time judgments obtained under prospective conditions (in which subjects are instructed to attend to time) and retrospective conditions (in which subjects are unaware that they will be required to judge time). In Experiment 1, subjects prospectively or retrospectively judged the duration of intervals spent performing a perceptual-motor task at different levels of difficulty. The results showed that subjects tested under both research paradigms tended to give… 
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The results contrasted with most findings of comparisons between prospective and retrospective duration judgments: there were no differences between the conditions regarding their mean estimates, but intersubject variability of temporal judgments was higher in the retrospective conditions than in the prospective conditions.
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TLDR
Investigating participants' ability to keep track of time during a visual and memory search task and manipulated its difficulty and duration revealed a higher overestimation of time in the prospective condition compared with the retrospective condition, but this was found in the 8-minute task only.
Attention allocation policy influences prospective timing
The role of attention allocation policy control in prospective duration judgments was tested in two experiments. In the first experiment, it was demonstrated that prospective duration judgments of
Processing demand modulates the effects of spatial attention on the judged duration of a brief stimulus
TLDR
The findings suggest that, although spatial attention plays an important role in the judged duration of a briefly presented stimulus, its effect is mediated by the processing demand of the task.
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Research comparing prospective and retrospective duration-judgment paradigms has produced diverse findings and conclusions. Two experiments reported here reveal that information-processing tasks
Contrasting task demands alter the perceived duration of brief time intervals
TLDR
The greater the degree of contrast between demands made by the task performed during the target interval and those made during reproduction, the less accurate the duration reproduction.
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