Metaphorical descriptions of wrongdoers

Open access


What is a metaphoric picture of an evil person made of? In a study devoted to the development of the ability to use metaphorical descriptions of humans, the semantic fields of four target metaphors - Human-Swamp, Human-Snake, Human-Knife, and Human-Nettle - were established and compared. Subjects (365 young adults) were asked to decipher the metaphors’ meanings. The results were obtained mainly by qualitative analysis, with frequency analysis of clusters containing synonymous meanings. The results indicate that when creating imaginary characteristics of evil people, young adults seem to be more concerned about the possibility of suffering verbal harassment (most commonly: vulgarity, mockery, gossip, jeering) than the threat of actual physical assault. The results may prove useful for developmental comparisons.

Bartczak, M., & Bokus, B. (2013). Rozumienie pojęć w depresji. [Understanding metaphors in depression]. Piaseczno: LEXEM.

Białecka-Pikul, M. (2003). Metaphors in preschool child thinking about the mind. Psychology of Language and Communication, 7(2), 37-47.

Black, M. (1979). More about metaphor. In A. Ortony (Ed.), Metaphor and thought (pp. 19-43). Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.

Blair, R. J. R. (2005). Responding to the emotions of others: Dissociating forms of empathy through the study of typical and psychiatric populations. Consciousness and Cognition, 14, 698-718. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2005.06.004

Chance, Z., Norton, M. I., Gino, F., & Ariely, D. (2011). Temporal view of the costs and benefits of self-deception. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108, 15655-15659. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1010658108,(3)

Chiappe, D. L., Kennedy, J. M., & Chiappe, P. (2003). Aptness is more important than comprehensibility in preference for metaphors and similies. Poetics, 31, 51-68. doi: 10.1016/S0304-422X(03)00003-2

Chiappe, D. L., Kennedy, J. M., & Smykowski, T. (2003). Reversibility, aptness, and the conventionality of metaphors and similes. Metaphor and Symbol, 18(2), 85-105. doi: 10.1207/S15327868MS1802_2

Cushman, F., Young, L., & Hauser, M. (2006). The role of conscious reasoning and intuition in moral judgment: Testing three principles of harm. Psychological Science, 17, 1082-1089. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2006.01834.x Cushman, F. (2008). Crime and punishment: Distinguishing the roles of causal and intentional analyses in moral judgment. Cognition, 108, 353-380. doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2008.03.006

Dryll, E. M. (2009). Changes in metaphor comprehension in children. Polish Psychological Bulletin, 40(4/2009), 49-57. doi: 10.2478/s10059-009-0015-1

Dryll, E. M., & Bokus, B. (2016). Zrozumieć metaforę: Studium z psycholingwistki rozwojowej [Understanding metaphors: A study in developmental psycholinguistics]. Piaseczno: LEXEM.

Duit, R. (1991). On the role of analogy and metaphor in learning science. Science Education, 75, 649-672. doi: 10.1002/sce.3730750606

Gentner, D. (1983). Structure-mapping: A theoretical framework for analogy. Cognitive Science, 7, 155-170. doi: 10.1207/s15516709cog0702_3

Gentner, D., & Clement, C. A. (1988). Evidence for relational selectivity in the interpretation of analogy and metaphor. In G. H. Bower (Ed.), The psychology of learning and motivation, (pp. 307-358). New York, NY: Academic Press.

Gibbs R. W. Jr (2001). Evaluating contemporary models of figurative language understanding. Metaphor and Symbol, 16(3&4), 317-333. doi: 10.1080/10926488.2001.9678900

Gibbs, R. (2002). The poetics of mind. Figurative Thought, Language, and Understanding. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.

Glenn, A. L., Iyer, R., Graham, J., Koleva, S., & Haidt, J. (2009). Are all types of morality compromised in psychopathy? Journal of Personality Disorders, 23, 384-398. doi: 10.1521/pedi.2009.23.4.384

Glucksberg, S. (2001). Understanding figurative language from metaphors to idioms. Oxford psychology series, number 36. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Glucksberg, S. (2003). The psycholinguistics of metaphor. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 7(2), 92-96. doi: 10.1016/S1364-6613(02)00040-2

Glucksberg, S. (2008). How metaphors create categories - quickly. In R. W. Gibbs Jr (Ed.), The Cambridge handbook of metaphor and thought (pp. 67-83). Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.

Glucksberg, S., & Haught C. (2006). On the relation between metaphor and simile: when comparison fails. Mind and Language, 21(3), 360-378.

Glucksberg, S., & Keysar, B. (1990). Understanding metaphorical comparisons: Beyond similarity. Psychological Review, 97, 3-18. doi: 10.1037/0033- 295X.97.1.3

Góralski, A. (1987). Metody opisu i wnioskowania statystycznego dla psychologów i pedagogów [Methods of description and statistical reasoning for psychologists and pedagogues]. Warsaw: PWN

Graham, J., Nosek, B. A., Haidt, J., Iyer, R., Koleva, S., & Ditto, P. H. (2011). Mapping the moral domain. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101, 366-385. doi: 10.1037/a0021847

Gray, K., Young, L., & Waytz, A. (2012). Mind perception is the essence of morality. Psychological Inquiry, 23(2), 101-124. doi: 10.1080/1047840X.2012.651387

Haidt, J. (2007). The new synthesis in moral psychology. Science, 316, 998-1002. doi: 10.1126/science.1137651

Kennedy, J. M., & Chiappe, D. L. (1999). What Makes a Metaphor Stronger Than a Simile? Metaphor and Symbol, 14, 63-69.

Kubicka, D. (2005). Myślenie metaforyczne i jego uwarunkowania u dzieci w wieku od 4 do 10 lat [Make strange familiar and make familiar strange: Metaphoric thinking in children from 4 to 10]. Studia Psychologiczne, 43(2), 59-73.

Loftus, E. F., & Hoffman, H. G. (1989). Misinformation and memory: The creation of new memories. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 118(1), 100-104.

Loftus, E. F., & Ketcham, K. (1991). Witness for the Defense; The Accused, the Eyewitness, and the Expert Who Puts Memory on Trial. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press.

Markman, A. B., & Gentner, D. (1990). Analogical mapping during similarity judgments. In Cognitive Science Society (Ed.). Proceedings of the twelfth annual conference of the cognitive science society (pp. 38-44), Cambridge, MA: Cognitive Science Society.

Moran, J. M., Young, L. L., Saxe, R., Lee, S. M., O’Young, D., Mavros, P. L., & Gabrieli, J. D. (2011). Impaired theory of mind for moral judgment in high-functioning autism. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108, 2688-2692. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1011734108

Noveck, I.A., Bianco, M., & Castry, A. (2001). The costs and benefits of metaphor. Metaphor and Symbol, 16(1&2), 109-121. doi: 10.1080/10926488.2001.9678889

Ortony, A. (1979). Beyond literal similarity. Psychological Review, 86(3), 161-180. doi: 10.1037/0033-295X.86.3.161

Ortony, A., Vondruska, R. J., Foss, M. A., & Jones, L. (1985). Salience, similes, and the asymmetry of similarity. Journal of Memory and Language, 24(5), 569-594. doi: 10.1016/0749-596X(85)90047-6

Pisula, E. (2003). Cognitive and social aspects of communication deficits in children with autism. Psychology of Language and Communication, 7(2), 49-67.

Rączaszek-Leonardi, J. (2011). Zjednoczeni w mowie: Względność językowa w ujęciu dynamicznym [United in speech: Linguistic relativity in a dynamic perspective]. Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Naukowe SCHOLAR.

Ricoeur, P. (1978). Metaphorical process as cognition, imagination, and feeling. Critical Inquiry, 5(1), 143-159. doi: 10.1086/447977

Shu, L. L., Gino, F., & Bazerman, M. H. (2011). Dishonest deed, clear conscience: When cheating leads to moral disengagement and motivated forgetting. Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, 37, 330-349. doi: 10.1177/0146167211398138

Woolfolk, R. L., Doris, J. M., & Darley, J. M. (2006). Identification, situational constraint, and social cognition: Studies in the attribution of moral responsibility. Cognition, 100, 283-301. doi: 16/j.cognition.2005.05.002

Journal Information

CiteScore 2017: 0.34

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.144
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.359


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 135 135 11
PDF Downloads 59 59 4