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Power in time: The influence of power posing on metaphoric perspectives on time

  • SARAH E. DUFFY (a1) and MICHELE I. FEIST (a2)
<span class='sc'>abstract</span>

In English, the Moving Ego metaphor conceptualizes the ego as moving forward through time and the Moving Time metaphor construes time as moving forward toward the ego. Recent research has provided evidence that people’s metaphorical perspectives on deictic time may be influenced by experiences—both spatial and non-spatial—that are connected to approach motivations (Moving Ego) and avoidance motivations (Moving Time). We extend this research further, asking whether there are differences in preferred temporal perspective between those who exhibit higher and lower degrees of power, as high power has been connected to approach motivations and low power, to avoidance motivations. Across two temporal tasks, participants in our study who adopted high-power poses demonstrated a greater preference for the Moving Ego perspective, compared to those adopting low-power poses. These results suggest an embodied connection between approach and avoidance motivations and the Moving Ego and Moving Time metaphors, respectively.

Corresponding author
*Address for correspondence: Sarah Duffy, Northumbria University, Department of Humanities, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK. Email:
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L Boroditsky . (2000). Metaphoric structuring: Understanding time through spatial metaphors. Cognition, 75(1), 128.

L. Boroditsky & M Ramscar . (2002). The roles of body and mind in abstract thought. Psychological Science, 13(2), 185188.

C. Carver & M Scheier . (1998). On the self-regulation of behavior. New York: Cambridge University Press.

T. Matlock , K. Holmes , M. Srinivasan , & M Ramscar . (2011). Even abstract motion influences the understanding of time. Metaphor and Symbol, 26, 260271.

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Language and Cognition
  • ISSN: 1866-9808
  • EISSN: 1866-9859
  • URL: /core/journals/language-and-cognition
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