Three Types of Temporal Perspective: Characterizing Developmental Changes in Temporal Thought

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This paper provides an outline of the development of temporal thinking that is underpinned by the idea that temporal cognition shifts from being event dependent to event independent over the preschool period. I distinguish between three different ways in which it may be possible to have a perspective on time: (1) a perspective that is grounded in script-like representations of repeated events; (2) a more sophisticated perspective that brings in an fundamental categorical distinction between events that have already happened and events that are yet to come; and (3) a mature temporal perspective that involves orienting oneself in time using a linear temporal framework, with a grasp of the distinctions between past, present, and future. I propose that, with development, children possess each of these types of perspective in turn, and that only the last of these involves being able to represent time in an event-independent way.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-89
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Early online date18 Aug 2014
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014

Bibliographical note

Monograph title: Flow of Time , Vol: 1326


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