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  • Author or Editor: Vincent Laflamme x
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The aim of the present study was to investigate the influence of the emotional content of words marking brief intervals on the perceived duration of these intervals. Three independent variables were of interest: the gender of the person pronouncing the words, the gender of participants, and the valence (positive or negative) of the words in conjunction with their arousing properties. A bisection task was used and the tests, involving four different combinations of valence and arousing conditions (plus a neutral condition), were randomized within trials. The main results revealed that when the valence is negative, participants responded ‘short’ more often when words were pronounced by women rather than by men, and this effect occurred independently of the arousal condition. The results also revealed that overall, males responded ‘longer’more often than females. Finally, in the negative and low arousal condition, the Weber ratio was higher (lower sensitivity) when a male voice was used than when a female voice was used. This study shows that the gender of the person producing the stimuli whose duration is to be judged should be taken into account when analyzing the effect of emotion on time perception.

In: Timing & Time Perception

This article aims at examining the relationship between temporal skills and reading. According to Tallal, dyslexia may be linked to a global deficit in temporal processing, which would be detrimental for discrimination of phonemes, and thus impair reading acquisition. The temporal deficit hypothesis is not consensual, and the exact nature of the temporal deficits assumed to be associated with dyslexia remains unknown. The aim of the present experiment is to better define the temporal processes involved in reading. To do so, elementary school children from 1st to 6th grade with varied reading skills levels were recruited (from weak to very good readers). Each participant performed four temporal tasks, that is, gap detection, temporal order judgement, interval discrimination and interval reproduction; and each task was performed in two different conditions, i.e., with signals marking time delivered in the visual and in the auditory modalities. The results show positive correlations between reading skills and all temporal tasks, in both modalities. We also established a prediction model of reading skills with visual gap detection sensitivity as the best predictor. The results support Tallal’s theory. Temporal deficits in weak readers are global and transcend sensory modalities. The gap detection task in the visual modality shows clinical potential for identifying timing-related reading difficulties, and could be used in future research.

In: Timing & Time Perception

The choice of a theoretical orientation often starts early during studies in psychology, and may guide the entire work of clinical psychologists. The aim of this study is to unveil associations between the temporal personality of university students in psychology, their personality traits and their preferences for each of the four main theoretical orientations recognized by the Ordre des Psychologues du Québec [Professional Order of Psychologists of Quebec]: psychodynamic-analytic, cognitive-behavioural, existential-humanistic and systemic-interactional. One hundred and twenty-nine students in psychology completed three online questionnaires assessing temporal personality, personality traits and theoretical orientation. Canonical correlations reveal that there are significant correlations between personality traits, temporal personality and preference for a theoretical orientation. More specifically, a preference for the existential-humanistic and systemic-interactional orientations is associated with weaker tendencies on the following temporal features: proximity of the results, consciousness of time on vacation and planning at home. Also, a preference for the cognitive-behavioural orientation is associated with stronger planning skills, time awareness and a propensity for conscientiousness. Those findings invite further investigations to better clarify the relations between time, theoretical orientation and personality.

In: Timing & Time Perception

Sixty-one participants were asked (a) to recall a memory for a period lasting 15 minutes and (b), at the end of this period, to estimate retrospectively the duration of this period. They were assigned to one of four groups: the memory was either joyful or sad, and was recent (within the past two years) or old (when the participant was 7 to 10 years old). The most critical finding is the demonstration that the age of the recalled memory has an impact on the verbal estimation. More specifically, duration is underestimated in the old but not in the recent memory condition. Moreover, in this study, recalling a memory, old or recent, is shown to be an efficient way to generate a joyful or sad emotion. Finally, the results also indicate that there is a significant correlation between the uncertainty related to the duration estimated retrospectively and the score on the present-hedonistic scale of the Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory.

In: Timing & Time Perception