Before coming to Keele in 2005 I spent my entire academic career in the Psychology Department at Manchester University, apart from sabbatical periods in the US and Belgium, starting as an undergraduate student, and ending up as a Professor, although the transition between the two took a little while! I’ve spent my entire working life as an academic but, alas, have no Indiana-Jones-like episodes to recount in this role.

Quite a few people who were my students are now academics themselves, some of them quite well-known ones, although one of the most gifted students I ever taught became a nun after graduation! I’ve had long-standing collaborations with researchers in France and Belgium, and have given many lectures and seminars at French-speaking universities ( French…).  My only other distinction is that as a teenager I played the double bass in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, so when I occasionally see “Young Musician of the Year” I’m not in the least surprised how good the contestants are: near-superhuman musical abilities in children were quite routine in the NYO, and you just got used to it (although, personally, I was merely ok as a player). 

Research and scholarship

I started off working on operant conditioning in rats, but I haven’t done experiments with animals for 25 years. Since the mid 1980s I’ve worked almost exclusively on time perception, initially with links to animal timing, but more recently focussed more or less exclusively on humans. I was the first person to apply a theory of animal timing (Scalar Expectancy Theory which, unfortunately, I didn’t invent myself) to human timing, and it’s now the dominant model of human time perception. I’ve worked on virtually all areas of this field: experimental work with students, children, old people, and patients as participants, theoretical research involving computer or mathematical modelling, historical work on the origins of time perception research in the 1860s and earlier. The fruit of this labour has been more than 100 published papers, most of them about time perception.


Year 1

  • PSY-10017 : Mechanisms and Principles

Year 2

  • PSY-20005 : Biological Psychology, Perception and Cognition

Year 3

  • PSY-30042 : Psychology of Time
  • PSY-30067 : Conceptual and Historical Issues

Further information

Professor John Wearden : Publications

Pre 2000

  • Ferrara, A., Lejeune, H., & Wearden, J. H. (1997). Changing sensitivity to duration in human scalar timing: An experiment, a review, and some possible explanations.Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology50B, 217-237. (PDF)
  • Lejeune, H., & Wearden, J.H. (1991). The comparative psychology of fixed-interval responding: Some quantitative analyses. Learning and Motivation22, 84-111. (PDF)
  • Penton-Voak, I.S., Edwards, H., Percival, A., & Wearden, J.H. (1996). Speeding up an internal clock in humans? Effects of click trains on subjective duration. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behaviour Processes, 22, 307-320.(PDF)
  • Wearden, J.H. (1991). Do humans possess an internal clock with scalar timing properties? Learning and Motivation22, 59-83.(PDF )
  • Wearden, J.H. (1999). "Beyond the fields we know...": Exploring and developing scalar timing theory. Behavioural Processes45, 3-21.(PDF )
  • Wearden, J.H., & Ferrara, A. (1996). Stimulus range effects in temporal bisection by humans. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology49B, 24-44.(PDF )
  • Wearden, J.H., Edwards, H., Fakhri, M., & Percival, A. (1998). Why "sounds are judged longer than lights": Application of a model of the internal clock in humans. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology51B, 97-120.(PDF )
  • Wearden, J.H., Pilkington, R., & E. Carter (1999). "Subjective lengthening" during repeated testing of a simple temporal discrimination. Behavioural Processes, 46, 25-38.(PDF )
  • Wearden, J.H, Wearden, A.J., & Rabbitt, P. (1997). Age and IQ effects on stimulus and response timing. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 23, 962-979(PDF )


  • Vanneste, S., Pouthas, V., & Wearden, J.H. (2001). Temporal control of rhythmic performance: A comparison between young and old adults. Experimental Aging Research, 27, 83-102.
  • Wearden, J.H. (2001). Internal clocks and the representation of time. In C. Hoerl & T. McCormack (Eds.), Time and memory: Issues in philosophy and psychology (pp. 37- 58). Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  • Wearden, J. (2001). More clocks within us. In S. McCready (Ed.), The discovery of time (pp. 204-225). London: MQ Publications Ltd.
  • Droit-Volet, S., & Wearden, J.H. (2001). Temporal bisection in children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 80, 142-159.(PDF )
  • Wearden, J.H., & Bray, S. (2001). Scalar timing without reference memory: Episodic temporal generalization and bisection in humans. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 54B, 289-310.(PDF )
  • Droit-Volet, S., Clément, A., & Wearden, J.H. (2001). Temporal generalization in 3- to 8-year-old children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 80, 271-288.(PDF )


  • Wearden, J.H., Parry, A., & Stamp, L. (2002). Is subjective shortening in human memory unique to time representations? Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 55B, 1-25.(PDF )
  • Wearden, J.H. (2002). Travelling in time: A time-left analogue for humans. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behaviour Processes, 28, 200-208.(PDF )
  • Droit-Volet, S., & Wearden, J. (2002). Speeding up an internal clock in children? Effects of visual flicker on subjective duration. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 55B, 193-211.(PDF )


  • Wearden, J.H., & Grindrod, R. (2003). Manipulating decision processes in the human scalar timing system. Behavioural Processes, 61, 47-56.(PDF )
  • Droit-Volet. S., & Wearden, J. (2003). Les modèles d’horloge interne en psychologie du temps. L’Année Psychologique, 104, 617-654.
  • Whitaker, J.S., Lowe, C.F., & Wearden, J.H. (2003). Multiple-interval timing in rats: Performance on two-valued mixed fixed-interval schedules. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behaviour Processes, 29, 277-291.(PDF )
  • Jones, L.A., & Wearden, J.H. (2003). More is not necessarily better: Examining the nature of the temporal reference memory component in timing. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 56, 321-343.(PDF )
  • Wearden, J.H. (2003). Applying the scalar timing model to human time psychology: Progress and challenges. In H. Helfrich (Ed.), Time and Mind II: Information-processing perspectives (pp.21-39). Gottingen: Hogrefe & Huber.(PDF )


  • Jones, L.A., & Wearden, J.H. (2004). Double standards: Memory loading in temporal reference memory. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 57B, 55-77.(PDF)
  • Blomeley, F.J., Lowe, C.F., & Wearden, J.H. (2004). Reinforcer concentration effects on a fixed-interval schedule. Behavioural Processes, 67, 55-66.(PDF)
  • Droit-Volet, S., Tourret, S., & Wearden, J. (2004). Perception of the duration of auditory and visual stimuli in children and adults. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 57, 797-818.(PDF)
  • Wearden, J.H. (2004). Decision processes in models of timing. Acta Neurobiologiae Experimentalis, 64, 303-317.(PDF


  • Wearden, J.H. (2005). Origines et développement des théories d’horloge interne du temps psychologique. Psychologie Francaise, 50, 7-25.(PDF)
  • McCormack, T., Wearden, J.H., Smith, M.C., & Brown, D.G.A. (2005). Episodic temporal generalization: A developmental study. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 58A, 693-704.(PDF)
  • Wearden, J.H. (2005). The wrong tree: Time perception and time experience in the elderly. In J. Duncan, L. Phillips, & P. McLeod (Eds.), Measuring the mind: Speed, age, and control (pp. 137-158). Oxford: Oxford University Press.(PDF)


  • Wearden, J.H., & Lejeune, H. (2006). "The stone which the builders rejected": Delay of reinforcement and response rate on fixed-interval and related schedules. Behavioural Processes, 71, 77-87(PDF)
  • Lejeune, H.,Richelle, M. & Wearden, J. (2006). About  Skinner and Time: Behaviour-analytic contributions to research on animal timing. Journal of the Experimental Analyses of Behaviour, 85,125-142.(PDF)
  • Wearden, J.H., Todd, N.P.M., & Jones, L.A. (2006). When do auditory/visual differences in duration judgements occur? Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 59, 1709-1724.(PDF)
  • Lejeune, H., & Wearden, J.H. (2006). Scalar properties in animal timing: conformity and violations. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 59, 1875-1908.(PDF)


  • Wearden, J.H., & Jones, L.A. (2007). Is the growth of subjective time in humans a linear or non-linear function of real time? Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 60, 1289-1302.(PDF)
  • Wearden, J.H., Norton, R., Martin, S., & Montford-Bebb, O. (2007). Internal clock processes and the filled duration illusion. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 33, 716-729. (PDF)
  • Droit-Volet, S., Wearden, J., & Delgado-Yonger, M. (2007). Short-term memory for time in children and adults: A behavioural study and a model. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 97, 246-264.(PDF)
  • Wearden, J.H., & Farrar, R. (2007). Effects of feedback and calibration on the verbal estimation of the duration of tones. Acta Psychologica, 126, 1-17.(PDF)
  • Wearden, J.H., Goodson, G., & Foran, K. (2007). Subjective shortening with filled and unfilled auditory and visual intervals in humans? Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 60, 1616-1628.(PDF)


  • Wearden, J.H. (2008). Slowing down an internal clock: Implications for accounts of performance on four timing tasks. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 61, 264-275.(PDF)
  • Whitaker, S., Lowe, C.F., & Wearden, J.H. (2008). When to respond? And how much? Temporal control and response output on mixed-Fixed-Interval schedules with unequally-probable components. Behavioural Processes, 77, 33-42.(PDF
  • Wearden, J.H., & Lejeune, H. (2008). Scalar properties in human timing: conformity and violations. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 61, 569-587.(PDF)

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