The aesthetic paradox in processing conventional and non-conventional metaphors: A reaction time study

Christmann, Ursula; Wimmer, Lena; Groeben, Norbert
November 2011
Scientific Study of Literature;Nov2011, Vol. 1 Issue 2, p199
Academic Journal
This study focuses on the relationship between cognitive effort and aesthetic-emotional evaluation in the processing of conventional and non-conventional metaphors. We postulate that an increased cognitive load — which is normally perceived as stressful — is evaluated positively when processing non-conventional metaphors. We have called this contradictory suspense ‘aesthetic paradox’. The aesthetic paradox was tested in two studies that differed in degree of processing demand. In study 1 (low processing demand) participants (N = 40) read (non-)conventional metaphors, judged the adequacy of two metaphor paraphrases and assessed their own interpretation process. In study 2 (high processing demand) the same procedure was applied with the exception that participants (N = 40) evaluated the appropriateness of one metaphor paraphrase. The results of both experiments confirm that non-conventional metaphors require longer reading and longer processing times than conventional metaphors, and they confirm the postulated paradoxical effect: the increase of cognitive effort in processing non-conventional metaphors is evaluated positively, provided that a satisfactory interpretation is found.


Related Articles

  • Cultural Basis of Metaphors Translation: Case of Emotions in Persian and English. Safarnejad, Fatemeh; Ho-Abdullah, Imran; Mat Awal, Norsimah // Asian Social Science;Apr2014, Vol. 10 Issue 7, p107 

    Metaphorical expressions often involve culturally-specific concepts, embodying associations related to a particular cultural community. Metaphor translation poses the problems of switching between different cultural references, as well as conceptual and linguistic perspectives. Dealing with...

  • The conceptualization of love in Persian creative and communicative language. Najafabadi, Hosna Karshenas; Marín Arrese, Juana Isabel // Cognitive Linguistic Studies;2015, Vol. 2 Issue 2, p289 

    This paper is an attempt to study Kövecses's (2000a) claim on the stability of emotion metaphors during time with regard to love metaphors in Persian language. In other words, the aim is to see whether love metaphorical expressions in Persian everyday language underlie the same conceptual...

  • FROM STUCK TO LIBERATED: Accepting and letting grow. Deal, Adrian // New Life Journal: Carolina Edition;Dec2005/Jan2006, Vol. 6 Issue 12, p8 

    The article discusses ways to deal with emotional problems relating to acceptance and letting go. According to studies, troubles in letting go may be due to the person's personal way of perceiving the situation. One's personal evaluation on things affects his whole interpretation on the...

  • Metaphor and Meaning in Early China. Slingerland, Edward // Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy;Mar2011, Vol. 10 Issue 1, p1 

    Western scholarship on early Chinese thought has tended to either dismiss the foundational role of metaphor or to see it as a uniquely Chinese mode of apprehending the world. This article argues that, while human cognition is in fact profoundly dependent on imagistic conceptual structures, such...

  • Performance pragmatics, neuroscience and evolution. Beeman, William O. // Pragmatics & Society;2010, Vol. 1 Issue 1, p118 

    This paper addresses the question question: How do individuals affect others cognitively and emotionally through performance? Performance here is broadly defined as purposeful enactment or display behavior carried out in front of an audience. Following Alfred Schütz, Erving Goffman, Deborah...

  • Approachability: How People Interpret Automatic Door Movement as Gesture. Ju, Wendy; Takayama, Leila // International Journal of Design;Aug2009, Vol. 3 Issue 2, p77 

    Automatic doors exemplify the challenges of designing emotionally welcoming interactive systems-a critical issue in the design of any system of incidental use. We attempt to broaden the automatic door s repertoire of signals by examining how people respond to a variety of "door gestures"...

  • ART AND THE FEELINGS AND EMOTIONS. Matravers, Derek // British Journal of Aesthetics;Oct91, Vol. 31 Issue 4, p322 

    The article discusses the problem in aesthetics of ascribing feelings or emotions to works of art. The author agrees with Kendall Watson, that since metaphors can always be paraphrased as judgments without ascribing feelings or emotions, aesthetic judgments that do contain feelings or emotions...

  • Janusian Mapping: A Mechanism of Interpretation. E. Mostovicz; Nada Kakabadse; Andrew Kakabadse // Systemic Practice & Action Research;Jun2008, Vol. 21 Issue 3, p211 

    Abstract  In this paper it is argued that human interpretation is an inherently paradoxical and complex mechanism. Human interpretation is underpinned by values, preferences and contrasts, and assumptions, and surfaced through an idiosyncratic combination of personal choice and logic...

  • Ten Myths of Metaphor. Scheffler, Israel // Journal of Aesthetic Education;Spring88, Vol. 22 Issue 1, p45 

    The article criticizes various myths that surround to topic of metaphor to have a better understanding of the topic. They include the myth of falsehood, which claims that only literal statements are true. The author argues that metaphorical assertions are eligible for falsehood. Another is the...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics