Cognitive Style Variables in Participants' Explanations of Conceptual Metaphors

Frank Boers, Jeannette Littlemore
2000 Metaphor and Symbol  
71 University students were first asked to explain three conceptual metaphors. Then the participants' cognitive styles were classified into "analytic" or "holistic" and "imager" or "verbaliser" by means of the Riding (1991) computer assisted test of cognitive styles. The results of the experiment revealed cognitive style variables in subjects' preferred strategies to explain the metaphors: (a) "holistic thinkers" were more likely than "analytic" ones to blend their conception of the target
more » ... of the target domain with the source domain ; and (b) "imagers" were more likely than "verbalisers" to refer to stereotypical images to explain the metaphors. Cognitive style variables 3 Cognitive Style Variables in Subjects' Explanations of Conceptual Metaphors In this article we report an experiment in which participants were asked to explain established conceptual metaphors. The participants' responses were classified according to scoring criteria derived from three theories of conceptual metaphor that have been put forward within the paradigm of cognitive semantics. These theories have been the subject of debate in recent years, because none of them appears to offer a comprehensive account of all metaphor phenomena. According to writers such as Lakoff (1987, p. 288) and Johnson (1993, p. 37), metaphor establishes correspondences between two distinct domains in which the structure of a source domain is projected onto a distinct, abstract target domain.
doi:10.1207/s15327868ms1503_4 fatcat:m42pwsfzk5ddloy3b5sgysu7ui