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Matlock, T., Ramscar, M. & Boroditsky, L. (2005). On the Experiential Link Between Spatial and Temporal Language. Cognitive Science, 29(4). 655--664.

  author = 	 {Matlock, Teenie and 
                  Ramscar, Michael and 
                  Boroditsky, Lera},
  title = 	 {On the Experiential Link Between Spatial and 
                  Temporal Language},
  journal = 	 {Cognitive Science},
  year = 	 {2005},
  key = 	 {},
  volume = 	 {29},
  number = 	 {4},
  pages = 	 {655--664},
  month = 	 {},
  note = 	 {},
  annote = 	 {}

Author of the summary: Jim Davies, 2005, jim@jimdavies.org

Cite this paper for:

People often think of abstract things in terms of more concrete things, as described in Lakoff and Johnson (1980). Structures about actual motion influence thoughts about time. If fictive motion (e.g. the road runs along the coast) uses the same structure involved in thinking about actual motion, then it too should influence thoughts about time. [657]

actual motion ---> fictive motion ---> time

Experiment 1: FM and time

One group read sentences like "The road runs along the coast" (a fictive motion sentence) and another read sentences like "The road is next to the coast." They drew a sketch to show they understood the sentence, then answered the ambiguous question "Next wednesday's meeting has been moved forward two days. What day is the meeting now that it has been rescheduled?" The FM sentence group had more "Friday" (70) than "Monday" (30) answers. There were no differenes with the control. [658] They are conceptually "moving" forward in time and answering "Friday." [659]

Experiment 2: FM Magnitude

This one was similar but the magnitude changed. The FM sentence was like "4/8/20/80 pine trees run along the edge of the driveway." As predicted, too few or too many trees led to chance reponses (with the idea that they are viewed as a single bunch of trees, and are thus not affording "scanning"). The rate of "Friday" answers were 4 trees: 55%, 8 trees: 80%, 20 trees: 61%, and 80 trees: 50%. [660]

Experiment 3: FM direction

Can FM distinguish direction, a key conceptual property of actual motion? This experiment had the path starting or ending at Stanford (where the participants were located.) As predicted, going away group (ego moving perspective): 62% Friday, coming group (object moving perspective): 32% Friday.

Summary author's notes:

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