PSYCHOLOGICAL TIME IN JAPANESE AND SWEDISH MALES: A CROSS-CULTURAL COMPARISON

  • Anna D. Eisler
  • Hannes Eisler

Abstract

Previous research (A. D. Eisler, 1992, 1995, 2003) has demonstrated differences betweenAfrican immigrants and native Swedish subjects in subjective duration, measured by themethod of reproduction. The present study is part of a systematic series of experiments ontime perception and culture. Possible cultural differences in subjective duration(psychological time, subjective experience of time) in relation to standard duration (physicalduration, clock-time), between Japanese and Swedish males were examined. Two experimentswere conducted with each group in a prospective paradigm (the experience of time-inpassing),using the methods of reproduction (Experiment 1), and verbal estimation insubjective seconds (Experiment 2). In each experiment ten standard durations, ranging from1.3 to 20 s in logarithmic steps were used and presented 3 times each in pseudo-randomorder. In the reproductions a significant interaction between duration and culture was found.The Japanese subjects reproduced the standard durations up to about 6 s slightly shorter andthe standard durations exceeding 11 seconds longer than the Swedish subjects. The resultsalso revealed a significant difference in the verbal estimations of duration between the twogroups. The Japanese estimated the durations shorter and less veridical than the Swedes.These differences can be described by variations in parameter values of the psychophysicalpower function. The present results are discussed in terms of approaches that emphasizecultural, cognitive, biological and methodological effects on subjective (psychological,perceived) duration in time perception research.
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