Psychological Research

, Volume 63, Issue 2, pp 199–209 | Cite as

Is judgment of random time intervals biased and capacity-limited?

  • André Vandierendonck


 Recently, random generation of time intervals has been proposed as a procedure to impair executive processing in a dual-task paradigm without substantial interference with phonological and visuo-spatial working memory resources. A fundamental assumption of this procedure is that humans are able to distinguish time sequences on their degree of randomness. The present study tests this assumption. To this end, non-biased, repetition-biased, alternation-biased sequences and repetitive rhythms were judged under conditions of higher or lower executive load. In Exp. 1, load depended on the presentation speed, while in Exp. 2, a dual-task condition was used with either a concurrent number-copying task or an arithmetic task. It was found that the participants could distinguish repetitive rhythms from more or less random sequences, and that both accuracy of this judgment and latency were affected by the concurrent load. The findings are taken as a first indication that random time judgment is capacity-limited.


Random Sequence Time Sequence Random Time Random Generation Fundamental Assumption 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • André Vandierendonck
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Gent, Henri Dunantlaan 2, B-9000 Gent, Belgium Tel.: +32-(0)9-264 64 37; Fax: +32-(0)9-264 64 96 E-mail:

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