Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

, Volume 15, Issue 6, pp 1122–1127 | Cite as

The role of a change heuristic in judgments of sound duration

  • Launa C. LeboeEmail author
  • Todd A. Mondor
Brief Reports


The present study investigated whether the quality of a frequency change within a sound (i.e., smooth vs. abrupt) would influence perception of its duration. In three experiments, participants were presented with two consecutive sounds on each of a series of trials, and their task was to judge whether the second sound was longer or shorter in duration than the first. In Experiment 1, participants were more likely to judge sounds consisting of a smooth and continuous change in frequency as longer in duration than sounds that maintained a constant frequency. In Experiment 2, the same bias was observed for sounds incorporating an abrupt change in frequency, but only when the frequency change was relatively small. The results of Experiment 3 suggested that the application of a change heuristic when generating duration judgments depends on the perception of change as originating from a single, integrated perceptual object.


Target Type Target Duration Duration Judgment Target Sound Change Target 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adobe Systems (2004). Adobe Audition (Version 1.5) [Computer software]. San Jose, CA: Author.Google Scholar
  2. Bregman, A. S. (1990). Auditory scene analysis. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  3. Brown, S. W. (1995). Time, change, and motion: The effects of stimulus movement on temporal perception. Perception & Psychophysics, 57, 105–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Garner, W. R. (1974). The processing of information and structure. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  5. Kleider, H. M., & Goldinger, S. D. (2004). Illusions of face memory: Clarity breeds familiarity. Journal of Memory & Language, 50, 196–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Masson, M. E. J., & Caldwell, J. I. (1998). Conceptually driven encoding episodes create perceptual misattributions. Acta Psychologica, 98, 183–210.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Poynter, W. D. (1989). Judging the duration of time intervals: A process of remembering segments of experience. In I. Levin & D. Zakay (Eds.), Time and human cognition: A life-span perspective (pp. 305–331). Amsterdam: Elsevier, North-Holland.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Psychology Software Tools (2002). E-Prime Software System [Computer software]. Pittsburgh, PA: Author.Google Scholar
  9. Reber, R., Zimmerman, T. D., & Wurtz, P. (2004). Judgments of duration, figure-ground contrast, and size for words and nonwords. Perception & Psychophysics, 66, 1105–1114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. van Noorden, L. P. A. S. (1975). Temporal coherence in the perception of tone sequences. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Eindhoven University of Technology.Google Scholar
  11. Whittlesea, B. W. A. (1993). Illusions of familiarity. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition, 19, 1235–1253.Google Scholar
  12. Witherspoon, D., & Allan, L. G. (1985). The effect of a prior presentation on temporal judgments in a perceptual identification task. Memory & Cognition, 13, 101–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada

Personalised recommendations