The occurrence of the filled duration illusion: a comparison of the method of adjustment with the method of magnitude estimation.

Research paper by Emi E Hasuo, Yoshitaka Y Nakajima, Erika E Tomimatsu, Simon S Grondin, Kazuo K Ueda

Indexed on: 12 Nov '13Published on: 12 Nov '13Published in: Acta Psychologica


A time interval between the onset and the offset of a continuous sound (filled interval) is often perceived to be longer than a time interval between two successive brief sounds (empty interval) of the same physical duration. The present study examined whether and how this phenomenon, sometimes called the filled duration illusion (FDI), occurs for short time intervals (40-520 ms). The investigation was conducted with the method of adjustment (Experiment 1) and the method of magnitude estimation (Experiment 2). When the method of adjustment was used, the FDI did not appear for the majority of the participants, but it appeared clearly for some participants. In the latter case, the amount of the FDI increased as the interval duration lengthened. The FDI was more likely to occur with magnitude estimation than with the method of adjustment. The participants who showed clear FDI with one method did not necessarily show such clear FDI with the other method.