The influence of digit magnitude on time reproduction in the (sub-)second range

Pichelmann, Stefan; Rammsayer, Thomas (27 March 2017). The influence of digit magnitude on time reproduction in the (sub-)second range (Unpublished). In: 59th Conference of Experimental Psychologists (TeaP). Dresden, Germany. 26.03.-29.03.2017.

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Background. The estimation of time is essential for many tasks in our everyday life but the estimate seems to be influenced by current nontemporal sensory input. In 2003, Walsh proposed his theory of magnitude (ATOM), which suggests an underlying common mechanism for the processing of different magnitudes (e.g., time and quantity). In accordance with ATOM, several studies (e.g., Lu, Hodges, Zhang, & Zhang; Rammsayer & Verner, 2016) found evidence for an influence of digit magnitude on perceived duration, but all of them either used the extremes of the digit set (e.g., 1, 2 vs 8, 9) or analyzed durations in the supra-second range where counting might bias the relationship. Methods. To address these limitations, we conducted an experiment where 50 participants took part in a time reproduction task. Arabic numerals (range 1-9) were presented for 800, 1000, or 1200ms on a monitor screen. A fixation cross appeared 900ms after the presentation of the digit stimulus. The participants were asked to press a designated key as soon as the cross had been presented for the same duration as the digit before. Each combination of digit and target interval was presented 10 times in a random order. Our results provide further evidence for a common mechanism of magnitude processing. Results. Besides the positive effect of target duration on the reproduced duration, we found a significant effect of digit magnitude on duration judgements, resulting in longer reproduced durations for higher digit magnitudes. Conclusion. Our results provide further evidence for an underlying connection between time and digit magnitude processing.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Personality Psychology, Differential Psychology and Diagnostics

UniBE Contributor:

Pichelmann, Stefan and Rammsayer, Thomas


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 370 Education




Karin Dubler

Date Deposited:

23 Apr 2018 15:41

Last Modified:

08 Mar 2019 08:00


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