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The Consequences of a Metaphoric Mind Seminar

12:30 - 13:30
11 February 2016
University of Southampton, Highfield Campus, Building 44 (Shackleton), Room 3031/3033

For more information regarding this seminar, please telephone Sue McNally on 02380 595150 or email .

Event details

The majority of work on conceptual metaphors in social and personality psychology has focused on specific metaphor effects. Specifically, these types studies show that priming a concept (e.g., anger) leads to metaphorically consistent outcomes (e.g., perceiving the colour red). However, relatively little work has focused on the consequences of metaphoric thinking in general. Conceptual metaphor theory states that metaphors help people understand abstract or intangible constructs (e.g., emotion). My recent work, which is the focus of this talk, sought to directly test this assertion. First, I will describe how my colleagues and I created and validated a metaphor usage measure (MUM). I will then present data suggesting that metaphor effects are strongest among those scoring high in metaphor use. After establishing the usefulness of the MUM, I will provide evidence that metaphor use is helpful for understanding. Specifically, I will show that the MUM predicts emotional understanding and emotionally intelligent responses to daily life events. In addition, I will describe work suggesting that metaphor usage training is useful for reducing trait-like negative affect and, perhaps, depression. In closing, I will briefly describe my perspective on the current state of metaphor research and present my vision for future work in this area.

Speaker information

Dr Adam Fetterman, University of Essex. Adam received his MS (2010) and PhD (2013) in Social Psychology from North Dakota State University (Fargo, ND, USA). He then spent 2 years in Tübingen, Germany, working as Postdoctoral Researcher at the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien. He joined the Department of Psychology at Essex in 2015. His research interests bridge the fields of social, personality, and cognitive psychology. Most generally, though, he is interested in emotion. Whether it is how we come to understand our emotions or how emotions impact our decision-making and behavior, he believes that emotions are key to understanding human nature.

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