Agency and Time Representation in English and Dutch Speakers

Annemijn C. Loermans*, Björn B. de Koning, Lydia Krabbendam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Research reveals that the ego- and time-moving representations, two divergent ways to talk and think about time, are psychologically meaningful: They are, for example, linked to agency. This research has, however, mainly been correlational in nature and only been conducted amongst English speakers, even though cross-linguistic differences are readily observed in research on time representation. The present research addresses these limitations. In the first study, we explore the causal relation amongst English speakers and show that feelings of personal agency lead to the adoption of the ego-moving representation. In the second and third study, we replicate the first study and conduct a correlational study amongst Dutch speakers. We find no proof for a similar relation between agency and time representation amongst Dutch speakers. In discussing the findings, the role language plays in shaping preferences is considered as well as the methodological issues that need to be addressed by future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-375
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Language and Social Psychology
Issue number3
Early online date23 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


  • agency
  • cross-linguistic differences
  • ego-moving
  • time representation
  • time-moving


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