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ERIC Number: ED314747
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990-Jan
Pages: 27
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Metaphor as Structure Mapping: The Relational Shift. Technical Report No. 488.
Gentner, Dedre
A study used structure mapping theory to examine the claim that children can understand metaphors based on shared object attributes before understanding those based on shared relational structure. The three kinds of metaphor used in the study varied in whether the shared information forming the basis for the interpretation was attributional, relational, or both. In the first experiment, 10 five-year-olds, 10 nine-year-olds, and 10 college students enrolled in psychology classes, produced interpretations of the three types of metaphors. The attributionality and relationality of their interpretations were scored by independent judges. In the second experiment, 36 adult undergraduates, 18 four-year-olds, and 18 seven-year-olds chose which of two interpretations (relational or attributional) of metaphor they preferred. In both experiments, results indicated that relational responding increased significantly with age, but attributional responding did not. Findings suggest a developmental shift toward a focus on relational structure in metaphor interpretation. (Three tables of data, three figures, and five footnotes are included; 39 references are attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Illinois Univ., Urbana. Center for the Study of Reading.; Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Inc., Cambridge, MA.