ERIC Number: ED237953
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1983-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Affective Implications of Metaphor and Simile in Discourse. Technical Report No. 301.
Miall, David S.; Vondruska, Richard J.
Differences between metaphors and similes have often been overlooked in the experimental literature, and the comparison theory addressing comprehension of simile may be less appropriate to the more transformational properties of metaphor. It is proposed that one of the variables associated with the difference is affective response, leading to the hypothesis that the metaphor's greater power to unsettle a subject's view will be accompanied by a higher incidence of affective responses. A first test of this hypothesis was made using 54 fourth and fifth grade children and 70 college students. The data from the children were in agreement with the hypothesis--they generated a higher frequency of affective responses to metaphors than to similes. The adult data, however, were inconclusive, showing a slight trend in the opposite direction. A second experiment with 33 college students investigated the degree of affective shift in response to metaphors, similes, or literal paraphrases in a story. Results showed greater affective shift in the simile condition than in either the metaphor or literal conditions. The findings suggest that, in contrast to children, depth of affective processing rather than frequency of affective ideas may be a key factor in adult figurative response. (Author/FL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Illinois Univ., Urbana. Center for the Study of Reading.; Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Inc., Cambridge, MA.