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Prospective and Retrospective Perception of Time Ashis Pati Diwakar Agarwal

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Objective: To study the effect of routine and non- routine nature of the task on time perception To find out difference in perspective and retrospective time perception in above two conditions.

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Experiments performed Sheet of numbers Two types of sheets each with 30 rows of digits. Each row consists of 38 randomly generated digits. In each row a digit is underlined. Subjects are supposed to count the instances of the underlined digit in the row and write it at the end of the row. The digits underlined are same in case of routine task while they are different in non-routine task.

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Contd.... Each subject was given a practice time of 20 seconds to practice the task. After that they were asked to perform the experiment for a fixed duration of 1:30 min(not told to them) They after the period they were asked to stop and then estimate the time they spent during the experiment. In perspective test the were told beforehand to keep track of time while doing the task.

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Experimental Results (Retrospective) RoutineNon-Routine Sl. noEstimated Time (in secs) Sl. noEstimated Time (in secs) Average58.33Average63.33

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Experimental Results (Prospective) RoutineNon-Routine Sl. noEstimated Time (in secs) Sl. noEstimated Time (in secs) Average120Average87

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Analysis of the Results (Retrospective) The retrospective time estimation for the routine task was less than that of non-routine task but only by a small amount of 5 seconds. This difference although small is as expected The mean of the non-routine task is seconds is less than the allotted time of 90 seconds. This is contrary to what is hypothesized. Analysis of the Results (Prospective) The results for the prospective timing case strongly supported the hypothesis. Average of the routine task was more than the non- routine task as well as actual time. Few subjects showed behavior strongly in accordance to hypothesis. They guessed a time more than twice the actual time.

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Possible sources of Error The experiments were carried out in our wings with our wing mates as subjects. Errors may have been caused by a possible lack of serious environment The data currently is far too less for us to draw any conclusions. Some of the observations may be statistical errors A few of the subjects reported their lack of understanding of the task after the experiment Plan of Action We plan to conduct this experiment on a class of people in a proper environment with clearer guidelines We would at least need 40 subjects for each category that a total of 80 subjects

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Future Work To complete the sheet-based experiment with adequate number of subjects in a proper way and analyze the data obtained To get started on the video-based experiment for which we would also require 80 students in total (40 each for the two categories: prospective and retrospective timing analysis) Analyze the data obtained from both the experiments and verify the hypothesis proposed in the referred paper.

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