A distortion of time is often reported under the presence of stress or threatening stimuli, for instance motor vehicle accidents or near-death experiences. There is a lack of research on the complexity of time distortion under stress; thus, the present study aimed to explore the relationship between stress and time perception. Given the challenges associated with producing a stress response in a laboratory setting, difficult tasks have been previously used to produce a stress response, such as anagram tasks. However, it remains unknown whether experiencing time pressure while completing a stressful task can also influence time distortion. To investigate this, participants completed either an easy or difficult anagram task and received either an unspecified time limit or no time limit to complete the task. It was hypothesized that participants would experience the greatest distortion of time when the task was difficult, and they were provided an unspecified time limit. Contrary to the hypothesis, we failed to find differences in task performance or time perception across the various conditions, which may be explained by the inability to produce a stress state. While stress manipulation was unsuccessful, the findings suggest utilizing multiple tasks may be more effective at replicating a physiological or psychological stress state. Thus, the results of this study warrant further investigation to examine the relationship between stress, time pressure, and time distortion.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Brosnihan, Annamarie, "The Relationship Between Task-Induced Stress and Time Perception" (2023). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 1333.