A number of striking temporal asymmetries have been observed in the way that adults think about the past and the future: experiences in the future tend to be more valued than those in the past, feel closer in subjective time, and elicit stronger emotions. Three studies explored the development of these temporal asymmetries for the first time with children and adolescents. Evidence of past/future asymmetry in subjective time emerged from 4-to-5-years of age. Evidence of past/future asymmetry in emotion was clearly observable from 6-to-7-years of age. Evidence of past/future asymmetry in value emerged latest in development and was uncorrelated with judgments of emotion and subjective distance at all ages. We consider the underlying causes of these asymmetries, and discuss the potential relations among them.
- Temporal asymmetries
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental Neuroscience