MOOD AND TIME PERCEPTION: THUMBS UP FOR THE MILDLY DEPRESSED AND FOR ABSOLUTE SECONDS JUDGEMENT

  • Diana E. Kornbrot
  • Rachel M. Msetfi
  • Melvyn Grimwood

Abstract

Time perception and understanding the effects of mood state and attention are enduring psychophysical problems. In this study, the effect of mild depression was investigated. All participants performed four judgment tasks of time intervals ranging from 5 sec to 65 sec. The tasks could be absolute (in s) or made relative to an experienced interval. Each task had two judgment forms: estimation and production. Stevens power law exponents and relative under or over estimate bias were obtained for each individual in each condition. Mean power law exponents were close to unity and showed no effect of depression group, task or type of judgment. Relative judgment proved more difficult than absolute judgment. Intriguingly, there was a strong interaction between mood and bias. Non-depressed participants overestimated for the estimation task and underestimated for the judgment task. By contrast, the mildly depressed were accurate and showed no effect of judgment type.

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