Time perception is always a curious subject matter. As the
world continues to evolve there needs to be more research on time perception
and affairs surrounding that topic. Most studies don’t look at the basic topics
such as the illusion of time and in what circumstances this could be. The
method used was simple and allowed the procedure to be carried out easily. The
results clearly reinforce the hypothesis idea without a doubt. However, even
though it was a simple study and there were no implications, the topic area
studied was quite concise and clear cut therefore making it different to be
used widely for other studies. 107
In this study time perception will be looked at and how it
can be manipulated or influenced based on if a person is active and enjoying
themselves or being inactive and feeling bored. Time perception is prone to
measurable distortions and illusions (Eagleman, 2008). Time perception is
widely studied for various reasons. Time perception is prone to measurable
distortions and illusions (Eagleman, 2008).
Time is a linear continuum of instants (A, Grunbaum) which
allows us to separate which allows us to describe cause and effect. Time also
allows us to describe the order in which things happen. Making time comes from
both evolutionary theories and biological reasons. As for humans it is said we
have a biological clock, this allows us to regulate rhythmic functions which
are internal. This “clock” is located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus in the
hypothalamus of the brain. It can be said that humans have 3 rhythms; those
being ultradian, circadian and infradian rhythms. Ultradian being a repetition
of the cycle that happens more than once in a 24-hour period, circadian being a
cycle that happens once a day (once in 24 hours) and finally infradian being a
cycle that lasts longer than 24 hours.
Rats and pigeons were used in operant conditioning
procedures when time perception became of interest. One type of procedure
included scheduled reinforcement were the rats and/or pigeons were rewarded
based on intervals.
The intervals involved were fixed or variable. In relation
to the fixed intervals schedules the animals, displayed interesting behaviour
which gave the appearance that they were able to mark time. Although this study
did not prove the idea that they know time it opened the floor for many
questions and ideas surrounding time and the perception of time. This is
because time perception is commonly studied and is still studied happens till
A psychologist called Clausen (1950) studied the perception
of time. He used a few main methodologies to conduct his study, these included
method of estimation, method of comparison, method of production and method of
reproduction. These were all methods of time judgement. However, the data he
based his conclusions on were collected from schizophrenic patients, meaning
the data would be questioned to stand for normal subjects on its reliability
(Clausen, 1950). Although the results did show variation in answers for the
different types of methods.
Block and Zakay (1997) another two psychologists concluded
that prospective time judgements are 16% longer and retrospective time
judgements are 15% more variable on average (Block & Zakay, 1997)
Experienced duration decreases as the difficulty of the
non-temporal information processing task increases (Block & Zakay, 2004).
This basically supported the idea that prospective time judgements are
perceived as longer than they are. This conclusion was supported by several
other experiments such as Zakay & Fallach (1984 (Experiments)) and Stroop
(1935) (Zakay and Block, 2004).
The reason for this is study, is because although time
perception is and has been studied there can be alternative viewpoints and
additional information and research found within the results that could help
further research and other psychologists. Despite the fact there is current
research on time perception; this study looks at specific elements and
variables such as the illusion of perceived time and distractions contributing to
the outcome and results. In this study the hypothesis and what will be studied
and analysed is ‘time will go faster when the participants seem to be having
fun, in comparison to when the participants are asked to do something boing or
tedious’. This hypothesis seeks to test out the illusions of perceived time and
what are the causes and effects. 595
The design used for this study was between groups design
(analysed with a Mann – Whitney U test). This was because the design allowed
the participants to be grouped and each group to experience one condition which
helped limit or/and eradicate order effects. Although the participants were not
the same to each other they were randomly allocated to each condition. Matching
pairs was also slightly involved to individual difference was lessened. The
independent variable, was what the participants were doing, the condition they
took part in, there were two levels of the independent variable these included
the participants doing an activity and participants not doing an activity/
being less active. The dependant variable was time perception and the estimated
time that had passed.
The participants involved in the study ranged. In total the
study used twenty participants. A family, a friendship group from the
university of derby and a few people from a retail store. The participants were
grouped into 4, meaning 5 people per group; each group contained each of the
above, so these were a family member, someone from the friendship group at the
university of derby and people from the retail store. This allowed eased as the
participants had a similar pair for each other groups. In addition, the groups
were not mixed in gender, 2 groups contained only female and the other 2 groups
only contained male participants. The data collected from the participants that
was used in the results were their age and their gender. This data was used
fundamentally to have an alternative viewpoint and possible reason for some of
the results. The data collected could also be a confounding variable for future
The materials used in this study were both android and
iPhone; everything was mainly electronic. They used the phones to download a game
called “Heads Up”. The questionnaire that they filled out at the end of the
experiment was also electronic as it was sent using the app “WhatsApp”. This
was because they were able to answer the questionnaire privately without being
influenced by seeing what someone could’ve potential written down on paper.
The participants were asked to engage in an activity
game called “heads up” which was an app from their phone.
On the app the game
has different sections and categories ranging from music to Disney movies. The category
chosen, was Disney movies.
The idea of the game
was for the rest of the players to act out the word that is showing on the
phone in the quickest time possible as they are timed.
The participant holding
the phone with the word on it could not see what the words said, the
participants held it in front of their head, along their forehead area. Each
round of the game was 60 seconds. The groups played 3 rounds leaving leeway of
1-2 minutes to laugh and joke and switch players.
In total the game
lasted 4 minutes 49 seconds. At 5 minutes and 23 seconds, the game was stopped,
and people were sent whatsapp messages on their individual phones to answer an individual
questionnaire which consisted of 5 questions, asking them how much time had
passed whilst undergoing this game.
The second group were
asked to sit in silence, with their eyes closed so they couldn’t look at the
people surrounding them. They were asked to keep as still as possible, minimal
movement making this activity more boring than it already was. Again, the same
whatsapp message was sent out consisting of 5 questions for them to answer
Both groups were
under these circumstances for 5 minutes 23 seconds.
in the active group recalled a mean time of 3.87 minutes (SD = 1.31), whilst
participants in the less active group recalled a mean of time 7.56 minutes (SD
estimated time taken guessed by participants in the active group, was notably
lower than the estimated time taken by participants in the control group,
supporting the hypothesis: Mann-Whitney
U (n1 = 10; n2 = 10) = 2, p < 0.05. Discussion Indicated in the results it is clearly proven that when active or busy the perception of time is altered and an illusion is created making you think time has gone faster than it has and when less active or not active at all time is perceived slower. The results from this study are considered statistically significant as the obtained U value is less than the critical U value, with this information It can be argued further that the hypothesis was proved to be correct. In this experiment there were many limitations such as the gender being an interference and whether that idea was an influencing factor on the results and whether age was an influencing factor. For future study proposals using matched pairs would lessen the complications and make it easier for the researcher when interpreting the results this also lessens confounding variables which could potentially be a crucial factor in the experiment. To conclude this study has proved that time perception is notably an influenced when subjects are being active or distracted, it also proves the theory that retrospective time judgements are variable (Zakay & Block, 1997). However, it does not argue in favour that prospective judgements are perceived longer. In future research this could be an element added to make the study better and more concise. It is not clear on whether this experiment can be applied to all subjects matters concerning time and perception of time. References Clausen, J. (1950). An evaluation of experimental methods of time judgment. Journal Of Experimental Psychology, 40(6), 756-761. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/h0056354 Unknown. (2018). Definition of Time – Exactly What Is Time?. Exactlywhatistime.com. Retrieved 8 January 2018, from http://www.exactlywhatistime.com/definition-of-time/ Eagleman, D. (2008). Human time perception and its illusions. Current Opinion In Neurobiology, 18(2), 131-136. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2008.06.002 Zakay, D., & Block, R. (2004). Prospective and retrospective duration judgments: an executive-control perspective. Citeseerx.ist.psu.edu. Retrieved 8 January 2018, from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.460.9384=rep1=pdf Bibliography Allan, L. (1979). The perception of time. Perception & Psychophysics, 26(5), 340-354. http://dx.doi.org/10.3758/bf03204158 Block, R., Zakay, D., & Hancock, P. (1998). Human aging and duration judgments: A meta-analytic review. Psychology And Aging, 13(4), 584-596. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0882-7918.104.22.1684 Waldum, E., & Sahakyan, L. (2013). A role for memory in prospective timing informs timing in prospective memory. Journal Of Experimental Psychology: General, 142(3), 809-826. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0030113 Zakay, D. (2012). Experiencing time in daily life | The Psychologist. Thepsychologist.bps.org.uk, 25(8). Retrieved 7 January 2018, from http://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/volume-25/edition-8/experiencing-time-daily-life Appendices Active Group: Mean = 3.87 minutes (SD = 1.31) Not Active Group: Mean 7.56 minutes (SD = 1.21) U Value = 2 Critical U Value = 23 Mann-Whitney U (n1 = 10; n2 = 10) = 2, p < 0.05. P < 0.05.