Psychological Research

, Volume 42, Issue 3, pp 255-273

First online:

Internal representation of the months

An experimental analysis of spatial forms
  • Philip H. K. SeymourAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, The University

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When questioned, many subjects reported thinking of the months of the year in terms of a spatial ‘form’. Experiment II demonstrated that the RT profile generated when subjects made centre-end or first/second half judgements about month positions was similar to that obtained for cued locations on a spatial array. This evidence for a linear representation contrasted with results from a forward-backward shift task (Experiment III) which suggested a directionally asymmetric circular representation. Retrieval of month names from cued locations on horizontal, vertical, or circular spatial arrays showed an effect of congruity of the external display and the subject's professed form (Experiment IV). There was an advantage for central locations in retrieval of month-digit and digit-month equivalences (Experiment V). Implications of these results for an account of the internal representation of the months are discussed.