Original Paper

Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 36, Issue 4, pp 483-490

First online:

Subjective time perception and behavioral activation system strength predict delay of gratification ability

  • Andrea P. CorviAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Case Western Reserve University
  • , James JuergensenAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Case Western Reserve University
  • , Joseph S. WeaverAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Case Western Reserve University
  • , Heath A. DemareeAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Case Western Reserve UniversityDepartment of Psychological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University Email author 

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This study investigated the relationship between subjective time perception and behavioral impulsivity in a healthy, undergraduate population. Data were collected from 62 participants on internal clock speed (ICS, a measure of subjective time perception), behavioral impulsivity, intelligence, and Behavioral Inhibition and Activation Strengths (BIS and BAS). As expected, after controlling for other significant predictors, ICS accounted for a significant amount of variance in behavioral impulsivity. Surprisingly, participants who had slower ICSs were more behaviorally impulsive than participants who had faster ICSs. In addition, and as anticipated, participants who had less accurate ICSs were significantly more impulsive than participants who were more accurate. Last, higher BAS significantly predicted decreased behavioral impulsivity. Results are discussed in terms of current theory relating ICS to impulsivity, and a new theoretical framework is advanced.


Time perception Internal clock speed Delay of gratification Impulsivity Behavioral activation