Deceived and Distorted: Game Outcome Retrospectively Determines the Reported Time of Action

Eve A. Isham, William P. Banks, Arne D. Ekstrom, Jessica A. Stern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Previous work suggested the association between intentionality and the reported time of action was exclusive, with intentionality as the primary facilitator to the mental time compression between the reported time of action and its effect (Haggard, Clark, & Kalogeras, 2002). In three experiments, we examined whether mental time compression could also be observed in an unintended action. Participants performed an externally cued key press task that elicited one of two possible tones. The reported time of action shifted closer to the tone when the tone was used to indicate the winner of a race (Exp.2) compared to when the tone was meaningless and did not indicate winning (Exp.1). This suggests that reported time of an unintended action could shift toward the effect in some contexts. Furthermore, the results from Exp.2 and Exp.3 (tones were substituted with verbal feedback) showed that a presumed winning action was judged to occur earlier whereas a presumed losing action was judged to be later. These findings therefore support the view that the reported time of action is reconstructed from known temporal information rather than determined by intentionality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1458-1469
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • Agency
  • Intentionality
  • Stimulus-based action
  • Time perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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