Rewarding performance feedback alters reported time of action

Eve A. Isham, Joy J. Geng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Past studies have shown that the perceived time of actions is retrospectively influenced by post-action events. The current study examined whether rewarding performance feedback (even when false) altered the reported time of action. In Experiment 1, participants performed a speeded button press task and received monetary reward for a presumed " fast," or a monetary punishment for a presumed " slow" response. Rewarded trials resulted in the false perception that the response action occurred earlier than punished trials. In Experiments 2 and 3, the need for a speeded response and reward were independently manipulated in order to decouple the cognitive and reward components in the feedback signal. When tested independently, neither variable affected the judged time of action. We conclude that meaningful feedback (fast or slow) is only used when made salient by reward, to modulate the judged time of an action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1577-1585
Number of pages9
JournalConsciousness and Cognition
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2011


  • Emotions
  • Game outcome
  • Retrospective inference
  • Reward
  • Subjective time perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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