Conceptual Metaphors of Affect

Emotion Review 1 (2):129-139 (2009)
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Emotional experiences are often described in metaphoric language. A major question in linguistics and cognitive science is whether such metaphoric linguistic expressions reflect a deeper principle of cognition. Are abstract concepts structured by the embodied, sensorimotor domains that we use to describe them? This review presents the argument for conceptual metaphors of affect and summarizes recent findings from empirical studies. These findings show that, consistent with the conceptual metaphor account, the associations between affect and physical domains such as spatial position, musical pitch, brightness, and size which are captured in linguistic metaphors also influence performance on attention, memory and judgment tasks. Despite this evidence, a number of concerns with metaphor as an account of affect representation are considered



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