Interpretation of temporal trends

Stuart Albert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Considers temporal experience as a set of temporal trends in which situationally defined properties are plotted over time. In Exps. I and II with 30 and 38 male and female undergraduates, the primary set of trends expressed graphic patterns of 0, moderate, or high temporal variabilities in (a) an attitude, (b) a behavior (smoking), or (c) a physical state (pollution). At the end of the time portrayed by the graph, the S was to assume an influence attempt to lower the trend. Attitudinal fluctuation prior to influence implied susceptibility to influence, whereas variation in smoking or pollution level did not. This finding is interpreted as the differential operation of homeostatic processes within situations that have explicit goals vs. situations that do not. Exp. III with 34 undergraduates and 16 volunteers, tested this explanation with a set of trends varying in slope. The use and limitations of temporal trends as a device for studying temporal experience are discussed. (18 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-322
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1971
Externally publishedYes


  • temporal variability increase along evaluative vs. nonevaluative dimension, interpretation as representation of homeostatic processes of increasing strength vs. as evidence of susceptibility to influence


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