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The effects of odor and body posture on perceived duration

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Author: Schreuder, E. · Hoeksma, M.R. · Smeets, M.A.M. · Semin, G.R.
Type:article
Date:2014
Publisher: Frontiers Research Foundation
Source:Frontiers in Neurorobotics, FEB, 8
Identifier: 513419
doi: doi:10.3389/fnbot.2014.00006
Article number: 6
Keywords: Psychology · Affective state · Arousal · Body posture · Internal clock · Odor · Perceived duration · peppermint · adult · arousal · attention · body posture · chair · controlled study · heart rate · hypothesis · major clinical study · odor · pleasure · rosemary · self report · sitting · skin conductance · time · Healthy Living · Resilient Organisations · DCHA - Dutch Centre for Health Assets · ELSS - Earth, Life and Social Sciences

Abstract

This study reports an examination of the internal clock model, according to which subjective time duration is influenced by attention and arousal state. In a time production task, we examine the hypothesis that an arousing odor and an upright body posture affect perceived duration. The experimental task was performed while participants were exposed to an odor and either sitting upright (arousing condition) or lying down in a relaxing chair (relaxing condition). They were allocated to one of three experimental odor conditions: rosemary (arousing condition), peppermint (relaxing condition), and no odor (control condition). The predicted effects of the odors were not borne out by the results. Self-reported arousal (SRA) and pleasure (PL) states were measured before, during (after each body posture condition) and postexperimentally. Heart rate (HR) and skin conductance were measured before and during the experiment. As expected, odor had an effect on perceived duration. When participants were exposed to rosemary odor, they produced significantly shorter time intervals than in the no odor condition. This effect, however, could not be explained by increased arousal. There was no effect of body posture on perceived duration, even though body posture did induce arousal. The results do not support the proposed arousal mechanism of the internal clock model. © 2014 Schreuder, Hoeksma, Smeets and Semin.