Article published In:Review of Cognitive Linguistics: Online-First Articles
The physics of time
How visual entropy cues influence spatial conceptions of time
According to the Temporal Focus Hypothesis, people’s orientations of sagittal spatiotemporal mappings are conditioned by their characteristic patterns of attention to the past and/or future. While a growing body of research has investigated how a variety of psychological, social, and environmental factors associated with temporal focus shape implicit space-time mappings, little is known about whether the degree of entropy in the visual context influences spatial conceptions of time. Based on the findings that high-entropy images invoke a past-focused mindset and low-entropy images invoke a future-focused mindset, the current work explores how entropy impacts people’s temporal focus and mental representations of time. In Study 1 involving a self-report measure of temporal focus, we found that while high-entropy images increased Chinese students’ attention to the past and led to more past-in-front responses, low-entropy images increased Chinese students’ attention to the future and led to more future-in-front responses. Using both self-reported measures and other-report ratings of temporal focus, Study 2 conceptually replicated the findings of Study 1 in a more diverse population. Considered together, these results bolster support for the Temporal Focus Hypothesis that entropy triggers corresponding changes in temporal focus and in mental sagittal space-time mappings.
- 2.Study 1
- 2.1.2Materials and procedure
- 2.2Results and discussion
- 3.Study 2
- 3.1.2Materials and procedure
- 3.2Results and discussion
- 4.General discussion
Published online: 15 September 2023
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