Alteration of time perception in young and elderly people during jigsaw puzzle tasks with different complexities.

Research paper by Yuko Y Iwamoto, Minoru M Hoshiyama

Indexed on: 02 Jul '11Published on: 02 Jul '11Published in: Occupational Therapy International


We investigated the relationship between time perception during tasks and subjective feelings in young and elderly people. Simple and complex jigsaw puzzles were given to healthy young and elderly subjects. The subjects were asked to estimate the time they had taken to complete the tasks after performing them. The ratio of the subjective to actual duration of time, the duration judgment ratio (DJR), and the relationship between the DJR and the subjective feelings during the tasks were analysed. The elderly group required a significantly longer time than the younger group for both tasks, and both elderly and young subjects estimated a longer time than the actual time to complete the tasks. The effect of the tasks on the DJR was significant, and the value was higher for the 24-piece than 54-piece task in both groups. The DJR was smaller in subjects with "much interest" than in those with "little interest" in the 24-piece task, but there was no difference in the 54-piece task. The results indicate that time perception was modulated by subjective feelings during the task, as well as by the age and task complexity. Because the goal and the result of the task may modulate time perception during it, time perception while actually performing the task may differ from that after completing it.