Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) Honours


School of Psychology and Social Science


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

First Advisor

Professor Craig Speelman


There are two main models of time perception, attention-based models, and memorybased models. The aim of this study was to determine which model best explained retrospective time perception of a long and monotonous task. The monotonous task was a Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART) that lasted 1390s. The monotony of the task was altered by the addition of musical stimuli. Participants were randomly assigned to either a silent condition, or one of three music conditions that differed in song familiarity and performing instrument. Participants were 48 adults, primarily recruited from Edith Cowan University. The perceived duration of the task, the number of errors on the SART, and the number of songs remembered was measured. Difference in perceived duration between the conditions provided limited support for both attentionbased and memory-based models. However, from the non-significant results of the number of errors on the SART, and the number of songs remembered, neither model was able to explain how participants perceived the duration of the task. The presence of a ceiling effect on perceived duration may have limited the size of some of the effects. Overall, the results suggest that the relevance of attentional processes and memory may not be as significant as what is proposed by the current models in explaining retrospective time perception of long tasks, and this should be explored in future research.

Included in

Psychology Commons