How do different cultures think about time? The role of traditionality and religiosity in the temporal conceptualization

From an anthropological point of view, different cultures construct their own concept of time and they think about it differently from each other. Time is usually conceptualized as space in the front-back axis. De la Fuente et al. (2014) proposed the Temporal Focus Hypothesis that maintains that culture is a factor that can modify the conceptualization of time: people from cultures with a predominance of traditionalist values (cultural focus on the past) tend to place the past in front of themselves more often than people from cultures with predominantly progressive values (cultural focus on the future). We have examined the Temporal Focus Hypothesis contrasting seven cultures (Spanish, Americans, Moroccans and Turks as well as Serbs, Croats and Bosnians of Bosnia-Herzegovina) which are divided mainly into two religions (Christianity and Islam) and they have different degrees of traditionality and religiosity. Our results show that these last two factors seem to be predictors of the spatial location of time at an intercultural level.

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