Angry and Beautiful: The Interactive Effect of Facial Expression and Attractiveness on Time Perception

Jasmina Tomas, Ana Marija Španić


Time perception is an adaptive phenomenon that enables everyday functioning, although many of its aspects remain unknown. Previous studies have resulted in new insights regarding this phenomenon, indicating an overestimation of emotional faces presentations, compared to neutral ones. The aim of the present study was to explore if this effect due to emotional expression would be modulated by the attractiveness of the perceived face. Female participants performed a temporal bisection task during which they evaluated elapsed time of female faces presentation differing in facial expression (angry and neutral expression) and attractiveness (attractive and unattractive face) for seven different stimuli durations (400-1.600 ms). Results indicate a systematic overestimation of angry faces duration compared to neutral ones, but only for the attractive face condition, the effect that did not occur for the unattractive face. These findings support the arousal-based models of time perception, indicating that arousal affects time perception mechanism resulting in an overestimation of the perceived time.


time perception; emotion; attractiveness; temporal bisection task; arousal

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