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Back to the future? The role of temporal focus for mapping time onto space

Bylund, Emanuel and Gygax, Pascal and Samuel, Steven and Athanasopoulos, Panos (2020) 'Back to the future? The role of temporal focus for mapping time onto space.' Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 73 (2). pp. 174-182. ISSN 1747-0218

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Do we conceptualise the future as being behind us or in front of us? While this question has traditionally been investigated through the lens of spatiotemporal metaphors, new impetus was recently provided by the Temporal-Focus Hypothesis (de la Fuente et al., 2014, Psych Sci). This hypothesis holds that the mapping of temporal concepts onto the front-back axis is determined by an individual’s temporal focus, which varies as a function of culture, age, and short-term attention shifts. Here, we instead show that participants map the future on to a frontal position, regardless of cultural background and short-term shifts. However, one factor that does influence temporal mappings is age, such that older participants are more likely to map the future as behind than younger participants. These findings suggest that aging may be a major determinant of space-time mappings, and that additional data need to be collected before concluding that culture or short-term attention do influence space-time mappings.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Temporal Focus; Conceptual Metaphor; Cross-Cultural; Space; Time; Gesture
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2019 10:11
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 14:02

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