Date of Award

Spring 5-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Forensic Psychology



First Advisor or Mentor

Kelly McWilliams

Second Reader

Ella Merriwether

Third Advisor

Evan Mandery


This study builds on McWilliams (et al., 2019) by analyzing temporal bias among children when making relative temporal judgments using recurring landmarks (e.g., birthday, holidays). Previous research has demonstrated that children display a prospective bias when making these judgments, meaning they tend to date things based on the future occurrence of the landmark (E.g, “it’s ten months until my birthday”) (McWilliams et al., 2019). Adults, by contrast, make relative judgments with landmarks based on the most proximate occurrence of the landmark. In other words, they do not prefer the future or the past (Merriwether et al., under review). Additionally, recent research suggests that, in legal settings, testimony that is consistent with the prospective bias is seen as less credible than when it follows adult patterns of temporal understanding. The present study aims to expand on this line of research by examining children’s open-ended explanations to these questions, in an effort to obtain a better understanding of how children think about relative judgments.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.