According to conceptual metaphor theory, individuals are thought to understand or express abstract concepts by using referents in the physical world—right and left for moral and immoral, for example. In this research, we used a modified Stroop paradigm to explore how abstract moral concepts are metaphorically translated onto physical referents in Chinese culture using the Chinese language. We presented Chinese characters related to moral and immoral abstract concepts in either non-distorted or distorted positions or rotated to the right or to the left. When we asked participants to identify the Chinese characters, they more quickly and accurately identified morally positive characters if they were oriented upright or turned to the right and more quickly and accurately identified immoral characters when the characters were distorted or rotated left. These results support the idea that physical cues are used in metaphorically encoding social abstractions and moral norms and provided cross-cultural validation for conceptual metaphor theory, which would predict our results.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.554061
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,464
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Metaphors We Live By.George Lakoff & Mark Johnson - 1980 - Ethics 93 (3):619-621.

View all 12 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

On Chinese Culture and Aesthetic Culture.Jun-hai Deng - 2008 - Nankai University (Philosophy and Social Sciences) 2:97-104.
The Theory-Theory of Moral Concepts.John Jung Park - 2015 - Journal of Cognition and Neuroethics 3 (2).
Utilitarianism in Chinese Thought.Jinfen Yan - 1998 - World Heritage Press.
Spatial Metaphors for Morality: A Perspective From Chinese.Ning Yu - 2016 - Metaphor and Symbol 31 (2):108-125.
Curb Your Embodiment.Diane Pecher - 2018 - Topics in Cognitive Science 10 (3):501-517.
Moral Reasoning in a Communist Chinese Society.Lawrence J. Walker & Thomas J. Moran - 1991 - Journal of Moral Education 20 (2):139-155.


Added to PP index

Total views
10 ( #903,762 of 2,520,772 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #270,509 of 2,520,772 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes