Stimulus response compatibility affects duration judgments, not the rate of subjective time

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The current experiments examined whether non-temporal associations can affect duration judgments without affecting the rate of subjective time. In both experiments, participants performed a temporal bisection task, judging on each trial whether stimulus’ duration was closer to pre-learned short or long standards. In each experiment, the spatial compatibility between stimuli and responses was manipulated. In both experiments, stimulus-response compatibility (SRC) affected duration judgments: stimuli that were spatially compatible with the key used for long judgments elicited long responses at shorter objective durations than stimuli that were compatible with the key used for short judgments. The size of SRC’s effect did not depend on the magnitude of the standard durations and SRC’s effect was magnified even when SRC was introduced after the relevant temporal interval had ended. Thus, these findings are consistent with the idea that duration judgments can be affected without influencing the rate at which subjective time passes.

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