Agency and time representation in English and Dutch speakers

Loermans, Annemijn C.; de Koning, Björn B. and Krabbendam, Lydia. 2019. Agency and time representation in English and Dutch speakers. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 38(3), pp. 353-375. ISSN 0261-927X [Article]

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Abstract or Description

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.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


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

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Institute of Management Studies


23 January 2019Published Online
1 June 2019Published
14 December 2018Accepted

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

02 Oct 2019 10:41

Last Modified:

13 Jun 2021 00:20

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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