Interrupted Time Experience in Autism Spectrum Disorder: Empirical Evidence from Content Analysis
Although the experience of time is of central relevance for psychopathology, qualitative approaches to study the inner experience of time have been largely neglected in autism research. We present results from qualitative data acquired from 26 adults with high functioning autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Employing inductive content analysis we identified a distinct pattern of interrupted time experience in ASD. Individuals with ASD seemed to implement structured and routine behavior by future planning to guarantee that the present passed uninterrupted. We reason that the success of corresponding compensatory mechanisms determines the development of distress and noticeable symptoms. Considering recent theories on Bayesian perceptual inference we relate the syndrome of interrupted time experience to the putative neuronal mechanisms underlying time experience.
KeywordsAutism-spectrum-disorder Time experience Perceptual inference Psychopathology Content analysis
DV contributes to conceptualization, data curation, investigation, qualitative analysis, coding and intercoding, statistical analysis, writing—original draft, review and editing. CK contributes to conceptualization, resources, writing—review and editing. KV contributes to conceptualization, supervision, resources, writing—review and editing. KK contributes to coding and intercoding. TS contributes to coding and intercoding. CMF-W contributes to resources, writing—review and editing.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
Each author declares that he/she has no conflicts of interest.
All procedures performed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
- Allman, M. J., & DeLeon, I. G. (2009). “No time like the present”: Time perception in autism. In A. C. Giordano (ed.) Causes and Risks for Autism. Hauppauge: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.Google Scholar
- Baron-Cohen, S., Wheelwright, S., Skinner, R., Martin, J., & Clubley, E. (2001). The autism-spectrum quotient (AQ): Evidence from asperger syndrome/high-functioning autism, males and females, scientists and mathematicians. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 31(1), 5–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Boucher, J. (2001). Time-parsing and autism. In C. Hoerl, T. McCormack (eds.) Time and memory: Issues in philosophy and psychology (pp. 111–135). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Csikszentmihályi, M. (1990). Flow: The psychology of optimal experience. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
- Falter, C. M., & Noreika, V. (2014). Time processing in developmental disorders: A comparative view. In Subjective time: The philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience of temporality. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Gallagher, S. (2010). Consciousness of time and the time of consciousness. Encyclopedia of Consciousness, 2010, 193–204.Google Scholar
- Glaser, B., & Strauss, A. (2017). Discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Hautzinger, M., Bailer, M., Worall, H., & Keller, F. (1995). BDI: Beck-depressionsinventar. In Testhandbuch 2. überarbeitete Auflage. Bern: Verlag Hans Huber.Google Scholar
- Joshi, G., Arnold Anteraper, S., Patil, K., Semwal, M., Goldin, R., Furtak, S., … Whitfield-Gabrieli, S. (2017). Integration and segregation of default mode network resting-state functional connectivity in transition-age males with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder: A proof of concept study. Brain Connectivity, 7(9), 558–573.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Krippendorff, K. (2004). Content analysis: An introduction to its methodology. Thousand Oaks: SAGE.Google Scholar
- Kupke, C. (2009). Der Begriff Zeit in der Psychopathologie. Berlin: Parodos Verlag.Google Scholar
- Kupke, C., & Vogeley, K. (2009). Constitution of cognition in time. In T. G. Baudson, A. Seemüller & M. Dresler (eds.), Chronobiology and chronopsychology (pp. 121–149). Lengerich: Pabst Science Publishers.Google Scholar
- Mason, M. (2010). Sample size and saturation in PhD studies using qualitative interviews. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung/Forum Qualitative Social Research, 11(3), 1–19.Google Scholar
- Mayring, P. (2014). Qualitative content analysis: Theoretical foundation, basic procedures and software solution. Klagenfurt: Basic Procedures and Software Solution.Google Scholar
- Moskalewicz, M. (2015b). Lived time disturbances of drug addiction therapy newcomers. A qualitative, field phenomenology case study at Monar-Markot Center in Poland. International Journal of Mental Health, 18(1), 3–20.Google Scholar
- Schmidt, K. H., & Metzler, P. (1992). Wortschatztest. Weinheim: WST. Beltz.Google Scholar
- Varela, F. J. (1999). The specious present: A neurophenomenology of time consciousness. In J. Petitot, F. J. Varela, B. Pachoud & J.-M. Roy (eds.), Naturalizing phenomenology: Issues in contemporary phenomenology and cognitive science (pp. 266–329). Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
- Vogel, D. H., Falter-Wagner, C. M., Schoofs, T., Krämer, K., Kupke, C., & Vogeley, K. (2018a). Flow and structure of time experience–concept, empirical validation and implications for psychopathology. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 1–24.Google Scholar
- World Health Organization. (1992). The ICD-10 classification of mental and behavioral disorders: Clinical descriptions and diagnostic guidelines. Geneva: World Health Organization.Google Scholar