Date of Award
Master of Arts
Recent research suggests that our understanding of the abstract domain of time is dependent on the more concrete domain of space. At once time is measurable and abstract, thus we often think of it both temporally as well as spatially. Boroditsky and Ramscar (2002) find that the spatial domain influences whether people see themselves as moving through time (ego-moving perspective) or as time moving towards them (timemoving perspective). Might there be other factors at work influencing these perspectives other than just representations of spatial experience? The current studies investigate the role that emotion plays in construal of time. Specifically, do people's feelings about an event influence how they perceive time and do people's perception of time influence how they feel about an event? Consistent with egomoving and time-moving perspectives, results suggest a significant effect of emotion on time construal such that people who have negative feelings about an event report that event as approaching them while people who have positive feelings about an event see themselves as approaching that event. A follow-up study shows the reverse process to be true such that ego-moving and time-moving language influence subjective positivity and negativity, respectively.
Ochsner, Skye Mims, "The influence of emotion on temporal perspectives" (1995). Master's Theses. 795.