Participants performed on a temporal generalization task with standard durations being either 4 or 8 s, and comparison durations ranging from 2.5 to 5.5, or 5 to 11 s. They were required to count during all stimulus presentations, and counts were recorded as spacebar presses. Generalization gradients around both standard values peaked at the standard, but the gradient from the 8-s condition was steeper. Measured counts had low variance, both within trials and between trials, and a start process, which was different from the counting sequence, could also be identified in data. A computer model assuming that a comparison duration was identified as the standard when the count value for the comparison was one that had previously occurred for a standard fitted the temporal generalization gradients well. The model was also applied to some published data on temporal reproduction with counting, and generally fitted data adequately. The model makes a distinction between the variance of the count unit from one trial to another, and the counts within the trial, and this distinction was related to the overall variance of behaviours resulting from counting, and the ways in which variability of timing measures change with the duration timed.
This article discusses the contents of two of the earliest publications about the experimental psychology of time, those from and . Höring’s thesis, conducted under Vierordt’s supervision, involved the discrimination of the relative rates of successive periods of beats of a metronome. In general, timing sensitivity decreased as the beats slowed, thus violating Weber’s Law of constant sensitivity for time. conducted a range of experiments, using metronomes, pendulums, and different sorts of apparatus of his own design. He, likewise, found violations of Weber’s Law, with the Weber fraction following a U-shaped function of duration, with a minimum (of around 5%) at 500 or 600 ms. Mach also conducted research on the smallest temporal intervals that could be distinguished, following an earlier suggestion by Czermak, and reported that the smallest values were obtained with the auditory sense. Mach’s article also discussed the perception of rhythms, and the possibility that different animal species show different sensitivity to time. Some modern work on Weber’s Law and timing is briefly discussed at the end of the article.
This article discusses research on time perception published by three women (Beatrice Edgell, Josephine Nash Curtis, and Mary Sturt) active in the early years of the 20th. Century. Edgell (On time judgment, Am. J. Psychol., 1903) was involved in psychophysical studies on the perception of brief durations, in the tradition of Vierordt and other mostly German authors. Curtis (Duration and the temporal judgment, Am. J. Psychol., 1916) provided detailed reports of introspections from participants performing timing tasks, in the manner of her supervisor, Titchener. Sturt (via the article by Oakden & Sturt, The development of the knowledge of time in children, Br. J. Psychol., 1922, an article by Sturt herself, Experiments on the estimate of duration, Br. J. Psychol. 1923, and her book The Psychology of Time, 1925) was involved in extensive developmental studies on the understanding of everyday time concepts, such as years, months, and dates, as well as other work involving variations in time judgements as a function of different conditions, such as when receiving painful stimulation.
This article presents a translation into English of most of a publication by the French philosopher Paul Janet, which appeared in 1877 (Janet, P.,. Une illusion d’optique interne. Revue Philosophique de la France et de l’Étranger, 3, 497–502). Here, it is proposed that the rate of passage of subjective time is proportional to the age of the person making the judgement. Janet further proposes that this proportionality will be most marked when judging time intervals remote from the present, such as past years or decades. He also suggests that the ‘acceleration’ of apparent passage of time with age can appear to reverse when old people consider the length of time that they believe to be left in their lives. A short commentary discusses how results from modern research on apparent passage of time and age can be linked to Janet’s proposal.
This article discusses the content of Michel monograph presenting a “model of the time-keeping mechanism”. Data from the seven experiments reported in the monograph are first discussed, then an attempt is made to explain the structure and operation of the model in some detail. Next, the model’s explanations of several important results found in Treisman’s experiments are presented. One is conformity of data to what Treisman called the ‘Weber function’, a generalized version of Weber’s Law. The second is conformity of data to Vierordt’s Law, the idea that when a range of time intervals is presented, short values tend to be overestimated and long ones underestimated. Finally, there was the phenomenon that Treisman called ‘lengthening’, the finding that responses on reproduction and production tasks tended to become longer as the experiment proceeded. Later sections briefly discuss potential relations between Treisman’s work and Scalar Expectancy Theory (SET) proposed twenty years later, and also how modern treatments of some of the issues that Treisman discussed are similar or different from the ones he proposed in 1963.
This article discusses material in a 1909 monograph, The Inaccuracy of Movement with Special Reference to Constant Errors, by H. L. Hollingworth, which is mostly concerned with demonstrating and accounting for what we would now call Vierordt’s Law, for judgements of both length and time. Hollingworth demonstrates Vierordt’s Law for a length reproduction task, and shows that the length which is reproduced most accurately (the indifference point) varies as a function of the range of the lengths presented. Hollingworth attributes this effect to the influence of the central tendency of the stimuli presented. He notes that this effect could be found in previous studies of time interval reproduction, but was not remarked upon. A second study also introduced error monitoring for length and time judgements. Hollingworth’s ideas echo much more recent approaches to Vierordt’s Law, some of which also use the idea that the Vierordt effect is based on the central tendency of the stimulus range from which the stimuli to be judged come.
This article is initially focussed on Warren Meck’s early work on temporal reference memory, in particular the idea that some drug manipulations affect ‘memory storage speed’. Meck’s original notion had links to an earlier literature, not usually related to timing, the study of memory consolidation. We present some examples of the use of the idea of memory storage speed from Meck’s early work, and show how it was abandoned in favour of a ‘memory constant’, K*, not related to storage speed per se. Some arguments against the idea of memory storage speed are presented, as well as discussion of a small amount of research on consolidation of memories for time. Later work on temporal reference memory, including rapid acquisition and interference effects, is also discussed.