Time perception: A study of some psychophysiological factors of relevance to aviation

Aitken, Robert Cairns Brown (1965) Time perception: A study of some psychophysiological factors of relevance to aviation. MD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Aircrew are familiar with distortion in the apparent duration of elapsed intervals of time, and they are aware of factors which may accentuate this distortion. It is apparent that the content of the interval and the attitude of the individual towards it are of paramount importance in determining punctuality. Three separate laboratory experiments on Man constitute 'the basis of this research. Their objective was to investigate a few of the factors thought to be relevant to an understanding of some of file mechanisms which underly the accurate assessment of the duration of an elapsed interval. In the first laboratory experiment it was shown that the apparent duration of a ten-minute interval was decreased by the performance of a tracking ten and increased by exposure of the subject to irrelevant alteration in the environment. By obtaining a quantitative subjective assessment of alertness and a measure of skin resistance change, it was demonstrated that the subjects' level of arousal was increased by both performance of the task and exposure to the environmental distraction. No significant relationship between arousal and apparent duration could be elicited. In the second experiment it was demonstrated that a 1 kc/B tone increased the apparent duration of a ten-second interval as determined by the method of serial reproduction, but only when it was presented in the judgment interval. No consistent distortion was obtained when the resistance to respiration was increased. In the last experiment, evidence was obtained which suggests that the relative duration of a one-minute Interval is related to the attitude of the individual towards its content " the stronger the view expressed, foe it preference in its favour or aversion against it, the longer the apparent duration of the interval. It is concluded that any composite theory of the mechanism of the perception of time must include an understanding of cognitive and affective processes. To aircrew, as control-system operators, time perception is a matter of practicality; in order to reduce the incidence of human error, it is advised that they rely implicitly on accurate chronometers to assess the duration of an elapsed interval and achieve punctuality.

Item Type: Thesis (MD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Cognitive psychology, Physiological psychology
Date of Award: 1965
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1965-72193
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 24 May 2019 15:11
Last Modified: 24 May 2019 15:11
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/72193

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