ERIC Number: ED220812
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1982-May
Reference Count: N/A
Comprehension of Metaphors: Priming the Ground.
End, Laurel J.; Danks, Joseph H.
A study was conducted to determine the effectiveness of priming, using the first of several metaphors with common ground (the relationship or similar characteristics between the subject of a metaphor and the term used metaphorically) to facilitate comprehension of successive related metaphors. Ten groups of three to five metaphors with common grounds were generated for a total of 42 metaphors. To verify their common grounds, 30 subjects were asked to sort the metaphors into 10 groups by matching the remaining 32 with one standard from each group. For the priming task, the three metaphors that were clustered together most frequently in eight of the ten groups were embedded in a list of 24 filler metaphors and 48 literal statements, all in the form "some x are y." Sixty undergraduate students were timed as they indicated how easy or difficult it was for them to understand the sentences. They were then given a cued recall task in which they were to fill in the blank space where the topic of the metaphor had been in the 96 test sentences. The results indicated that the filler sentences were responded to more rapidly, were subjectively easier to understand, and were better recalled than either the related or filler metaphors. There were no significant differences between the filler and related metaphors in speed or difficulty of comprehension. The first of the related metaphors was responded to more slowly and was more difficult to understand than were the second and third related metaphors, indicating that priming was effective. (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.; National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A