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Temporal focus and time spatialization across cultures

Callizo-Romero, C; Tutnjevic, S; Pandza, M; Ouellet, M; Kranjec, A; Ilic, S; Gu, Y; ... Santiago, J; + view all (2020) Temporal focus and time spatialization across cultures. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review , 27 pp. 1247-1258. 10.3758/s13423-020-01760-5. Green open access

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Abstract

The temporal focus hypothesis (TFH) proposes that whether the past or the future is conceptualized as being located in front depends on temporal focus: the balance of attention paid to the past (tradition) and the future (progress). How general is the TFH, and to what extent can cultures and subcultures be placed on a single line relating time spatialization and temporal focus in spite of stark differences in language, religion, history, and economic development? Data from 10 Western (sub)cultural groups (N = 1198,) were used to derive a linear model relating aggregated temporal focus and proportion of future-in-front responses. This model then successfully fitted 10 independently collected (sub)cultural groups in China and Vietnam (N = 899). Further analysis of the whole data set (N = 2,097) showed that the group-level relation arose at the individual level and allowed precise quantification of its influence. Finally, in an effort to apply the model to all relevant published data sets, we included recent data from Britain and South Africa: The former, but not the latter, fitted the model well. Temporal focus is a central factor that shapes how people around the world think of time in spatial terms.

Type: Article
Title: Temporal focus and time spatialization across cultures
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3758/s13423-020-01760-5
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3758/s13423-020-01760-5
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
Keywords: Cross-cultural differences, Time, Space, Temporal focus
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10108108
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