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The Effect of COVID‐Related Quarantine and Attitudes on Time Conceptualization: Evidence From Temporal Focus and Implicit Space‐Time Mappings

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

E-pub ahead of print
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>6/05/2024
<mark>Journal</mark>Language Learning
Publication StatusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date6/05/24
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The temporal focus hypothesis (TFH) entails that individuals who value the past tend to conceptualize it in front, whereas individuals who value the future tend to map the future in front instead (de la Fuente et al., 2014). This varies as a function of culture, individual differences, and context. Here, we extend this line of inquiry by testing a contextual variable, namely COVID‐19 quarantine status, and an individual differences variable, namely future precautionary behavior towards COVID‐19. Contrary to what the TFH would predict, we show that participants map the future to a frontal position, regardless of individual attitudes and quarantine status. However, participants who displayed more future precautionary behavior were also more future‐focused than participants who displayed less such behaviour, but this did not predict their front–back mappings of the future. These findings suggest that individual differences may be stronger determinants of temporal focus than contextual variables.