Patients with borderline personality disorders (BPD) show heightened negative affect and maladaptive emotion-regulation strategies. An individual's time perspective towards the past, present, and future as well as the feeling of time passage are strongly related to affect and emotion regulation. We therefore assessed the time perspective (Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory, ZTPI) and the subjective passage of time for present and past time intervals (Subjective Time Questionnaire, STQ) in 17 patients with BPD between the ages of 18 and 52 and 17 control subjects matched for gender, age and education. Patients with BPD show deviations in nearly all time orientations in the ZTPI: lower scores in the future and the past-positive dimension and higher scores in the present-fatalistic and past-negative dimensions. Patients deviate significantly more than controls from a balanced time perspective (BTP). Regarding the STQ, patients with BPD feel a general expansion of time at present but not for past intervals. Taken together, we show how BPD can be understood as a strong imbalance in individual time orientations and a most likely negatively felt expansion of subjective time in daily life.
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.
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.