Abstract

Effects of sex and handedness on the perception of temporal durations from 1 to 20 s were studied. A total of 80 male and 40 female participants were divided equally into left-handed and right-handed subgroups. Using an empty interval production procedure, each person estimated durations of 1, 3, 7, and 20 s, respectively, 50 times each. The order of presentation was randomized across participants but yoked across the sexes in each of the respective handedness subgroups. Results showed significant sex differences but no effects for handedness. One important facet of this sex effect was expressed in a consistent intercept difference in the identified relationship that linked the log-linear size of the absolute error of estimation against the logarithmic magnitude of the target duration at which such error was recorded. This new finding provides a new descriptive, empirical relationship for time perception of brief temporal intervals. The potential methodological, evolutionary, and cognitive reasons for this lawful relationship are discussed.

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