Publication details [#7848]

Meier, Brian P. and Michael D. Robinson. 2005. The metaphorical representation of affect. Metaphor and Symbol 20 (4) : 239–257. 19 pp.


Philosophers and psycholinguists have argued that abstract concepts like "affect" are represented via the mechanism of metaphor. This review investigates this contention, specifically within the context of social-cognition and clinical psychology research that has studied the link between affect and brightness, vertical position, and distance between the self and an object. The review will be particularly concerned with automatic and incidental linkages between affect and perception and their relevance for a variety of affective phenomena related to evaluation, mood, and emotional behavior. The cumulative data reveal that the metaphorical representation of affect has considerable merit. For this reason, the review suggests an expanded research agenda including (a) other perceptual experiences (such as those related to taste and temperature), (b) potential cultural variations, (c) neuroimaging research, and (d) the elucidation of "real world" consequences. (Brian Meier and Michael Robinson)