Moving Through Time: The Role of Personality in Three Real-Life Contexts

Sarah Duffy, Michele Feist, Steven McCarthy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


In English, two deictic space-time metaphors are in common usage: the Moving Ego metaphor conceptualizes the ego as moving forward through time and the Moving Time metaphor conceptualizes time as moving forward toward the ego (Clark, 1973). Although earlier research investigating the psychological reality of these metaphors has typically examined spatial influences on temporal reasoning (e.g., Boroditsky & Ramscar, 2002), recent lines of research have extended beyond this, providing initial evidence that personality differences and emotional experiences may also influence how people reason about events in time (Duffy & Feist, 2014; Hauser, Carter, & Meier, 2009; Richmond, Wilson, & Zinken, 2012). In this article, we investigate whether these relationships have force in real life. Building on the effects of individual differences in self-reported conscientiousness and procrastination found by Duffy and Feist (2014), we examined whether, in addition to self-reported conscientiousness and procrastination, there is a relationship between conscientious and procrastinating behaviors and temporal perspective. We found that participants who adopted the Moving Time perspective were more likely to exhibit conscientious behaviors, while those who adopted the Moving Ego perspective were more likely to procrastinate, suggesting that the earlier effects reach beyond the laboratory.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1662-1674
JournalCognitive Science
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014


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