The Effect of Sex, Age and Interval Duration on the Perception of Time.


Hancock, P.A., & Rausch, R. (2010). The effect of sex, age and interval duration on the perception of time. Acta Psychologica, 133, 170-179.

The present experiment examined the interactive effects of sex, age, and interval duration on individual’s time perception accuracy. Participants engaged in the duration production task and subsequently completed questionnaires designed to elicit their temporal attitudes. The overall group of 100 individuals was divided evenly between the sexes. Five groups, each composed of 10 males and 10 females, were divided by decades of age ranging from 20 to 69 years old. The specific time estimation task was an empty interval production procedure composed of 50 trials on each of four different intervals of 1, 3, 7, and 20 s, respectively. The presentation orders of these intervals were randomized across participants but yoked across the sexes within each of the respective age groups. Analysis of the production results indicated significant influences for the sex of the participant while age did not appear to affect estimates of these short durations. Temporal attitudes, as reflected in responses to time questionnaire inquiries, did however exhibit significant differences across age. The contending theoretical accounts of such sex and age differences are considered and explanatory accounts that present a synthesis of endogenous and exogenous causal factors are discussed in light of the present pattern of findings.

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