Manipulations of Libet clock parameters affect intention timing awareness

Ivanof, Bianca Elena; Terhune, Devin Blair; Coyle, D and Moore, James W.. 2022. Manipulations of Libet clock parameters affect intention timing awareness. Scientific Reports, 12, 20249. ISSN 2045-2322 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

W judgments are a widely used intention timing awareness estimate. These judgments are typically obtained by using the classic Libet-style paradigm whereby participants are asked to estimate the time they become aware of their intention to act by using the location of a rotating object on a clock face. There is an inconsistency in the Libet clock parameters used in previous studies, and it is unclear whether this variability impacts W judgments and other outcome measures, with implications for the construct validity of this measure and the generalisability of results across studies. Here, we present a four-experiment study that systematically manipulated the Libet clock speed, number of clock markings, length of the clock hand and type of clock radius in order to examine whether these parameter manipulations affect intention timing awareness estimates. Our results demonstrate W judgments can be significantly influenced by the clock speed and number of clock markings. The meaning and implications of these results are discussed.

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Funding: Partial financial support was received from Goldsmiths, University of London; DBT was supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/R01583X/1).

Availability of data and code: The datasets generated and analysed during the present studies are available on Bianca E. Ivanof’s OSF profile at, under the “Quick files” section, inside the “Ivanof et al. W judgments and Libet clock” folder.


W judgments; intention timing; Libet clock; free will; sense of agency; time perception

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1 November 2022Accepted
24 November 2022Published

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Date Deposited:

17 Nov 2022 12:09

Last Modified:

24 Nov 2022 14:10

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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