An inquiry into the process of temporal orientation

Asher Koriat, Baruch Fischhoff, Ofra Razel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A recent study (Koriat and Fischhoff 1974) in which subjects were asked to respond to the question 'What day is today?' revealed ease of day retrieval to be a curvilinear function of the day of the week, with greatest difficulty being encountered in midweek. Data suggested a twostage model for the day retrieval process, with the weekend serving as a facilitating 'landmark.' It was unclear whether these results were due to the day on which the subject was questioned or to the day label which he was requested to produce, the two being completely confounded. In the present experiment, subjects at each of the six working days of two weeks were presented with questions of the form 'Is today ...?' until 12 correct RT's were obtained for each Actual Day-Proposed Day combination. Major results include significant quadratic effects for Actual Day, Proposed Day and Actual Day-Proposed Day temporal distance; greater latencies for acceptance ('yes, today is...') than rejection responses; and details of the weekend effect. The nature of temporal orientation and the role of landmarks are discussed as well as the specifics of the day label retrieval and day label evaluation processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-73
Number of pages17
JournalActa Psychologica
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1976
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
* This research was supported by a grant from the Faculty of Social Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Requests for reprints should be sent to Asher Koriat, Department of Psychology, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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