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Temporal Distortion for Angry Faces: Testing Visual Attention and Action Preparation Accounts

Tipples, Jason; Lupton, Michael; George, David


Jason Tipples


When asked to judge the duration of a face people typically overestimate the duration of angry compared to neutral faces. A novel feature of the current research was the inclusion of secondary manipulations designed to distort timing performance namely, the effects of visual cues (Experiment 1) and action preparedness (Experiment 2). Furthermore, to establish whether the effects are multiplicative with duration, the effects were examined across 2 duration ranges (200 to 800 ms and 400 to 1600 ms). Visual cues and instructions to prepare to act increased the tendency to judge faces as lasting longer. Experiment 1 revealed an unexpected underestimation effect for angry faces presented for short durations (200 to 800 ms). However, the effect was not replicated in Experiment 2 where the results were generally consistent with either an increase the speed of a pacemaker mechanism that resides within an internal clock (Gibbon, Church, & Meck, 1984; Treisman, Faulkner, Naish, & Brogan, 1990; Treisman, 1963) or the widening of an attentional gate (Zakay & Block, 1996) – the temporal overestimation effect for angry faces grew in magnitude from the short to long duration. Experiment 2 also showed that the temporal overestimation for angry faces was reduced in magnitude when participants were asked to prepare to either push or pull a joystick.


Tipples, J., Lupton, M., & George, D. (in press). Temporal Distortion for Angry Faces: Testing Visual Attention and Action Preparation Accounts. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 23, 2022
Deposit Date Dec 2, 2022
Journal Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Print ISSN 1747-0218
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Public URL
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