Are Children More Accurate than Adults? Spontaneous Use of Metaphor by Children and Adults
Authors: Winer, G.A.; Cottrell, J.E.; Mott, T.; Cohen, M.; Fournier, J.
Source: Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, Volume 30, Number 5, September 2001 , pp. 485-496(12)
Abstract:This study examined an observation in which children outscored adults on a series of test questions, which included unusual items such as, “Do you see with your ears?” We assumed that the adults were treating the questions metaphorically because the literally correct answer was so obvious, an assumption consistent with Grice's theory. In Study 1, we tested this assumption by manipulating pretest and test items so as to suggest, or not suggest, a metaphorical or factual response. In Study 2, we used a similar manipulation involving the order of questions of various sorts and we more directly tested the Gricean hypothesis by giving college students a reason to treat the question literally. The results replicated the previous finding in which college students' scores were lower than those of children, and the condition effects suggested that the college students' performance was due to their responding metaphorically.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Affiliations: Department of Psychology, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210-1222
Publication date: September 1, 2001