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ERIC Number: EJ1046014
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 23
ISSN: ISSN-0211-2159
How Verb Tense Affects the Construal of Action: The Simple Past Tense Leads People into an Abstract Mindset
Carrera, Pilar; Muñoz, Dolores; Caballero, Amparo; Fernández, Itziar; Aguilar, Pilar; Albarracín, Dolores
Psicologica: International Journal of Methodology and Experimental Psychology, v35 n2 p209-223 2014
Two experiments examined the influence of verb tense on how abstractly people construe action representations. Experiment 1 revealed that written descriptions of several daily events using the simple past tense (vs. simple present tense) resulted in actions and the action's target being seen as less likely and less familiar, respectively. In Experiment 2 participants wrote about a personal episode of binge drinking (using the simple past tense vs. simple present tense), and the resulting narratives were coded using the Linguistic Category Model (see Semin & Fiedler, 1991). Results revealed that events were described at a more abstract level when texts were written using the simple past tense (vs. simple present tense). The results are discussed in the context of other effects of verb form and in relation to construal level of events.
University of Valencia. Dept. Metodologia, Facultad de Psicologia, Avda. Blasco Ibanez 21, 46010 Valencia, Spain. Tel: +34-96-386-4100; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health (DHHS)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Spain
Grant or Contract Numbers: K02MH01861|R01NR08325