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A Metaphor-Enriched Social and Personality Psychology. Brian P. Meier Gettysburg College The Barnard Interdisciplinary Workshop on Embodiment July 22 nd – 24 th , 2010. An Embodied Mind Approach. Barsalou (1999), Lakoff & Johnson (1980, 1999) Landau, Meier, & Keefer (in press)

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a metaphor enriched social and personality psychology

A Metaphor-Enriched Social and Personality Psychology

Brian P. Meier

Gettysburg College

The Barnard Interdisciplinary Workshop on Embodiment

July 22nd – 24th, 2010

an embodied mind approach
An Embodied Mind Approach

Barsalou (1999), Lakoff & Johnson (1980, 1999)

  • Landau, Meier, & Keefer (in press)
    • Conceptual Metaphors - conceptual mappings between typically concrete source concepts and superficially dissimilar and typically abstract target concepts
    • Embodiment - concepts contain modality-specific representations of sensations, motor activity, and other bodily states that occur during interactions with stimuli corresponding to those concepts
where is embodiment headed
Where is Embodiment Headed?

A Metaphor-Enriched Social and Personality Psychology

  • Early work was metaphor focused:
    • Meier et al. (2004, 2007) - brightness and bad/good
    • Meier & Robinson (2004, 2006) - verticality and bad/good
    • Meier et al. (2007) - verticality and perceptions of God.
where is embodiment headed1
Where is Embodiment Headed?

A Metaphor-Enriched Social and Personality Psychology

  • Current work is phenomenon focused:
    • Wilkowski, Meier, et al. (2009) - anger-related processing and heat cues (“hotheaded”)
      • Study 1 - heat cues facilitate anger-related processing
      • Study 4 - anger primes increase temperature estimates
      • Study 6 - heat cues bias emotion judgments (i.e., anger)
where is embodiment headed2
Where is Embodiment Headed?

A Metaphor-Enriched Social and Personality Psychology

  • Current work is phenomenon focused:
    • Meier & Dionne (2009) - attraction and verticality
    • Buss (1994, 2007) - evolution and human mating strategies (men seek youth and fidelity; women seek resources and status; a power difference?)
  • Verticality is a source domain for power (e.g., “high in the hierarchy”, “on the bottom rung of the ladder”; Giessner & Schubert, 2007)
where is embodiment headed3
Where is Embodiment Headed?

A Metaphor-Enriched Social and Personality Psychology

  • Current work is phenomenon focused:
    • Meier & Dionne (2009) - attraction and vertical space
where is embodiment headed4
Where is Embodiment Headed?

A Metaphor-Enriched Social and Personality Psychology

F (1, 77) = 5.12, p = .027, ηp2 = .06

where is embodiment headed5
Where is Embodiment Headed?

A Metaphor-Enriched Social and Personality Psychology

  • Current and future work is phenomenon focused:
    • Meier et al. (in preparation) - the “sweet” person
    • Nice, pleasant, and caring people are described as “sweet”
    • Sweet taste may be a source domain for agreeableness
where is embodiment headed6
Where is Embodiment Headed?

A Metaphor-Enriched Social and Personality Psychology

  • Current and future work is phenomenon focused:
    • Meier et al. (in preparation) - the “sweet” person
    • Study 1 - participants believed strangers who liked sweet foods (e.g., candy, sugar) were higher in agreeableness than strangers who liked other food taste types (e.g., sour, spicy)
    • Study 2 - sweet-food preferences positively correlated with agreeableness even after controlling for other food preferences (e.g., sour, spicy)
where is embodiment headed7
Where is Embodiment Headed?

A Metaphor-Enriched Social and Personality Psychology

  • Current and future work is phenomenon focused:
    • Meier et al. (in preparation) - the “sweet” person
    • Study 3 - people with a higher preference for sweet foods were more likely to volunteer to help their community during a flood
    • Study 5 - participants randomly assigned to eat a sweet food (Dove chocolate), a non-sweet food (Carr’s Crackers), or no food
      • Later asked to help another researcher
where is embodiment headed8
Where is Embodiment Headed?

A Metaphor-Enriched Social and Personality Psychology

F (2, 52) = 3.91, p = .026, ηp2 = .13

summary and questions
Summary and Questions

Summary

  • An embodied framework can enrich the basic understanding and prediction of social and personality processes
  • A phenomenon-based focus rather than a metaphor-based focus
summary and questions1
Summary and Questions

Questions

  • Where’s the metaphor?
  • What are the commonalities/differences between conceptual metaphor theory and “purist” views of embodiment?