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Metaphors We Think With: The Role of Metaphor in Reasoning

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Metaphors We Think With: The Role of Metaphor in Reasoning

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The way we talk about complex and abstract ideas is suffused with metaphor. In five experiments, we explore how these metaphors influence the way that we reason about complex issues and forage for further information about them. We find that even the subtlest instantiation of a metaphor (via a single word) can have a powerful influence over how people attempt to solve social problems like crime and how they gather information to make "well-informed" decisions. Interestingly, we find that the influence of the metaphorical framing effect is covert: people do not recognize metaphors as influential in their decisions; instead they point to more "substantive" (often numerical) information as the motivation for their problem-solving decision. Metaphors in language appear to instantiate frame-consistent knowledge structures and invite structurally consistent inferences. Far from being mere rhetorical flourishes, metaphors have profound influences on how we conceptualize and act with respect to important societal issues. We find that exposure to even a single metaphor can induce substantial differences in opinion about how to solve social problems: differences that are larger, for example, than pre-existing differences in opinion between Democrats and Republicans.
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... In particular, the underlying mechanisms through which the influence of metaphors on political representations and opinions occurs are still debated today. In this regard, the systematic review of Boeynaems, Burgers, Konijn, & Steen (2017a) outlines that while studies embedded in a Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) approach find that metaphorical framing is always effective, this is less the case for studies based on an experimental design (Boeynaems et al., 2017a; see also Thibodeau, Fleming & Lannen, 2019) which tend to depict more nuanced results (see for example, Steen, Reijnierse, & Burgers, 2014;Thibodeau & Boroditsky, 2011. Accordingly, a growing number of scholars using experiments now support an indirect-effect model, arguing that the persuasive effect of metaphorical framing is more complex and does not affect all participants the same way (Boeynaems, 2019;Panzeri, Di Paola & Domaneschi, 2021;Perrez & Reuchamps, 2015a;Reuchamps, Dodeigne & Perrez, 2018;Steen et al., 2014). ...
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The framing impact of political discourses has long been attested for. Metaphors in particular are known to ease the understanding of complex concepts and processes. Yet, the question remains to what extent metaphors do work the same on different recipients? Based on an experimental design, we test a potentially key moderating variable in the study of political metaphors: political knowledge. Our experiment aims at determining the extent to which the confrontation of individuals to arguments and metaphors impacts their preferences regarding the implementation of a basic income in Belgium. In particular, we hypothesize that the marginal effect of metaphors as cognitive shortcuts decreases when political knowledge increases. Our findings suggest that some metaphorical frames are more successful than others, hereby supporting the idea that the aptness of the metaphorical frame is a key factor when conducting experiments. We conclude that political knowledge is an important variable when analyzing the framing effect of metaphors, especially when it goes about very low or very high levels of political knowledge. The insertion of metaphors in political discourses may easily succeed in rallying individuals behind a given cause, but this would only work if participants have a lower knowledge of politics.
... Эффективным лингвистическим средством скрытого воздействия на коллективное бессознательное является когнитивная метафора, которая способна уничтожить старые, установить новые или усилить существующие концептуальные матрицы, минуя рациональные центры сознания объекта поражения. Многочисленные научные исследования феномена метафорического фрейминга (Thibodeau & Boroditsky, 2011;Hauser & Schwarz, 2015;Christmann & Göhring, 2016;Асланов, 2021) -«эффекта влияния метафоры на знания и суждения об объекте метафоры» (Асланов, 2021, с. 17) -показали, что удачно подобранные когнитивные метафоры заставляют человека совершать необдуманные действия. ...
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Аннотация Одним из действенных когнитивных инструментов скрытого воздействия на человека является внедрение нарративов и интенций в его подсознание используя единицы псевдотождества, в частности концептуальную метафору. Настоящее исследование посвящено когнитивно-прагматическому моделированию хронотопической метафоры в составе концептов «Война» и «Мир» в украинском русскоязычном дискурсе периода гибридной войны. На материале публикаций интернет-изданий «Зеркало недели», «Две тысячи», «Вечерние вести» за период 2014–2019 гг. произведен когнитивно-дискурсивный анализ современной хронотопической метафоры. В работе восстановлена образная пространственно-временная парадигма концептов и охарактеризован ее прагматический потенциал. Наряду с этим определено место концептов в кругу бинарных оппозиций «свое-чужое», «верх-низ», «хтоническое-сакральное», перечислены реализованные метафорами нарративы и определены когнитивные векторы осмысления войны и мира в свете российской агрессии против Украины. Детальное исследование когнитивных метафор из сферы-источника «Время и пространство» как средства концептуализации войны и мира в новостном дискурсе указало на существование в нем хронотопов войны и мира. В данном контексте хронотоп определяется как этноспецифическое, исторически и культурно обусловленное представление о пространственном и темпоральном плане войны и мира, апеллирующее к архаическим представлениям этноса и вербально объективированное речевыми единицами с пространственной и временной семантикой. Установлено, что представление о мире выстраивается на основе представлений о войне, а хронотоп мира связан с милитарным хронотопом, поскольку негативный конец аксиологической шкалы человека всегда длиннее, чем позитивный. Успешное достижение мира предполагает пересечения хтонического пространства войны. Поэтому в работе особое внимание уделено описанию качественных параметров хронотопов войны и мира, а также образных средств их объективации. Результаты исследования демонстрируют мировоззренческие установки, эксплицированные хронотопической метафорой, а также определяют ее роль как эффективного инструмента для воздействия на общественное сознание.
... For instance, the topic "crime" can be metaphorically framed as a "virus" or a "beast" and this has an influence on how the individual chooses a proposed countermeasure for this problem. In text that presented this problem as a "virus", participants more likely chose to increase support for social reform and when it was presented as a "beast", they more likely chose a counter-measure for increasing police enforcement (Thibodeau & Boroditsky, 2011, 2013. In regard to visual metaphors in advertisements, advertisers often select a source to include in the advert that highlights a semantic feature of the topic (that is to say, the product of the ad). ...
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