ERIC Number: ED194934
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Nov
Reference Count: 0
The Persuasiveness of Metaphor: A Replication and Extension.
Siltanen, Susan A.
A study was conducted to replicate and extend an earlier investigation of the persuasive effects of extended, intense concluding sex and death metaphors by using a more controlled design and by mixing metaphors. Fifty-eight high school students completed pretests assessing their attitudes toward a speech topic (legalization of marijuana). Two weeks later, the subjects were randomly assigned to one of four groups and asked to participate in a critical listening experiment in which they heard one of four versions of a tape-recorded speech. The body of each speech contained the same antilegalization of marijuana arguments. However, each contained a different conclusion: a sex metaphor, a death metaphor, a mixed sex/death metaphor, and a nonmetaphorical conclusion. After listening to the speeches, the subjects completed posttest measures assessing their attitudes toward the topic. The results indicated that the extended sex metaphorical conclusion induced greater attitude change in the direction advocated in the speech than did the other conclusions. Three possible explanations for this result are: the conclusion (1) provided the best culmination of the arguments presented in the speech, (2) interacted powerfully and believably with the speech topic, and (3) psychologically aroused and motivated the subjects to action via fear. The results provided evidence for the contention that metaphor functions differently than other forms of intense language. (Author/FL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (66th, New York, NY, November 13-16, 1980).