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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/2394

Title: Aptness is more important than comprehensibility in preference for metaphors and similes
Authors: Chiappe, Dan L.
Kennedy, John M.
Chiappe, Penny
Issue Date: 2003
Publisher: Elsevier Science
Citation: Chiappe, D. L., Kennedy, J. M., & Chiappe, P. (2003). Aptness is more important than comprehensibility in preference for metaphors and similes. Poetics, 31(1), 51-68.
Abstract: Figurative comparisons can be expressed as metaphors (e.g., “politics is a circus”) or similes (e.g., “politics is like a circus”). What determines the form in which a comparison is expressed? We examine two potential factors—aptness and comprehensibility. To be apt is to capture important features of a topic. Comprehensibility means being relatively easy to understand. We show both of these judgments are related to errors in a recognition memory test (i.e., remembering a simile as a metaphor or a metaphor as a simile). However, aptness was a better predictor of the errors than comprehensibility. Furthermore, while both aptness and comprehensibility predicted preference for the metaphor or simile form of comparisons in a direct test of preference, aptness explained unique variance, while comprehensibility did not. We argue that although comparisons have to be comprehensible to be proper metaphors or similes, aptness is more important in determining whether a comparison is preferred as a metaphor or as a simile.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/2394
Appears in Collections:Psychology
Kennedy, John M.

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