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The influence of affective factors on time perception

By Alessandro Angrilli, Paolo Cherubini, Antonella Pavese and Sara Manfredini


Several studies have suggested that both affective valence and arousal affect the perception of time. How-ever, in previous experiments these two affective dimensions were not systematically controlled. In the present study, a set of emotional slides rated for valence and arousal (International Affective Picture System) were projected to two groups of subjects for 2, 4 and 6 sec. One group estimated the duration on an analog scale and a second group reproduced the interval by pushing a button. Heart rate and skin conductance responses were also recorded. A highly significant valence by arousal interaction affected duration judg-ments. For low arousal stimuli, the duration of negative slides was judged relatively shorter than the duration of positive slides. For high arousal stimuli, the duration of negative slides was judged longer than the dura-tion of positive slides. These results are interpreted within a model of action tendency, in which the level of arousal controls two different motivational mechanisms, one emotional and the other attentional

Topics: Cognitive Psychology, Neurophysiology, Perceptual Cognitive Psychology, Physiological Psychology, Psychophysics
Year: 1997
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