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The developmental profile of temporal binding: From childhood to adulthood

Lorimer, Sara, McCormack, Teresa, Blakey, Emma, Lagnado, David A, Hoerl, Christoph, Tecwyn, Emma C and Buehner, Marc J 2020. The developmental profile of temporal binding: From childhood to adulthood. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 73 (10) , pp. 1575-1586. 10.1177/1747021820925075

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Temporal binding refers to a phenomenon whereby the time interval between a cause and its effect is perceived as shorter than the same interval separating two unrelated events. We examined the developmental profile of this phenomenon by comparing the performance of groups of children (aged 6–7, 7–8, and 9–10 years) and adults on a novel interval estimation task. In Experiment 1, participants made judgements about the time interval between (a) their button press and a rocket launch, and (b) a non-causal predictive signal and rocket launch. In Experiment 2, an additional causal condition was included in which participants made judgements about the interval between an experimenter’s button press and the launch of a rocket. Temporal binding was demonstrated consistently and did not change in magnitude with age: estimates of delay were shorter in causal contexts for both adults and children. In addition, the magnitude of the binding effect was greater when participants themselves were the cause of an outcome compared with when they were mere spectators. This suggests that although causality underlies the binding effect, intentional action may modulate its magnitude. Again, this was true of both adults and children. Taken together, these results are the first to suggest that the binding effect is present and developmentally constant from childhood into adulthood.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: SAGE
ISSN: 1747-0218
Funders: Leverhulme
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 28 September 2020
Date of Acceptance: 19 March 2020
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2020 12:18

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