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Understanding Behavior: From Neurons to Societies

Developmental Psychology Seminar: Tyler Marghetis, UC Merced

September 7, 2022 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm

Assistant Professor Tyler Marghetis from the UC Merced Cognitive and Information Sciences Department will be presenting:

Title: Time over time: Our notion of time develops on timescales of minutes, years, and generations

Abstract: The concept of time offers a bedrock on which we build our understanding of the world. Many thinkers, such as Kant, have argued that our concept of time is a universal, shared intuition that precedes experience. Here I'll argue the opposite: Our concept of time is idiosyncratic, shaped by culture and experience, and built up piecemeal over nested timescales ranging from minutes to millenia. Children only gradually acquire an adult-like understanding of time [1]. This understanding includes a spatial component, with children as young as five years old spontaneously gesturing spatially to express a rich understanding of time, even when their speech suggests ignorance [2]. Concepts of time, moreover, are shaped by culture on timescales ranging from minutes (children's brief exposure to cultural artifacts; [2]) to generations [3-5]. As a consequence, humans around the world demonstrate a striking diversity in their understanding of time [6-7], not a timeless, universal intuition. Time, I argue, has a history. (References: [1 ]Tillman, Marghetis, et al, 2017 [2] Marghetis, Tillman, & Srinivasan, in prep [3] Verhoef, Walker, & Marghetis, 2016 [4] Verheof, Walker, & Marghetis, 2022 [5] Marghetis, Walker, & Verhoef, in prep [6] Marghetis, Holmes, et al, 2022 [7] Marghetis & Holmes, in prep) 



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