Article published in:The political impact of metaphors
Edited by Julien Perrez and Min Reuchamps
[Metaphor and the Social World 5:2] 2015
► pp. 245–263
How viruses and beasts affect our opinions (or not)
The role of extendedness in metaphorical framing
Based on the assumption that extended metaphor may constitute a case of deliberate metaphor and therefore has the potential to influence people’s opinions, this paper investigates whether extending a metaphorical frame in a text leads people to perceive policy measures that are in line with that frame as more effective for solving a crime problem than other policy measures. The metaphorical frames ‘Crime is a virus’ and ‘Crime is a beast’ were extended in one experiment each via a series of additional conventional metaphorical expressions having crime as the target domain and beasts/viruses as the source domain. Participants (N = 354, Experiment 1; N = 361, Experiment 2) were randomly assigned to one of five experimental conditions with increasing numbers of sentences containing metaphorical expressions, and rated the effectiveness of a set of policy measures to solve the crime problem described in the text. The data yield limited support for our hypothesis. When controlling for political affiliation, the ratings for frame-consistent measures trended in the hypothesised direction in Experiment 2. Experiment 1 yielded a trend for frame-inconsistent measures. These results suggest that metaphorical framing effects may be more subtle than has been assumed.
Keywords: metaphor, framing, framing effects, reasoning, experiments
Published online: 28 September 2015
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