Verbalizing Or Visualizing Metaphors? the Moderating Effects of Processing Mode and Temporal Orientation

Yi He, California State University, East Bay, USA
Qimei Chen, University of Hawaii, USA
Dana Alden, University of Hawaii, USA
Metaphors are used extensively in healthcare communications and their persuasive superiority relative to literal messages is well-established. However, understanding of the processing mechanisms (e.g., mental visualization) that may mediate the enhanced effectiveness of metaphor in healthcare communications remains limited. Four experiments reported here address this limitation by examining whether metaphor type (abstract versus concrete) affects processing of a persuasive anti-smoking website. In Experiment 1, the authors reveal that concrete (versus abstract) metaphors activate higher levels of imagery processing leading to increased message effectiveness. In Experiments 2-3, the authors demonstrate that congruency between metaphor format and processing goals as well as between metaphor format and temporal orientation enhances message effectiveness.
[ to cite ]:
Yi He, Qimei Chen, and Dana Alden (2010) ,"Verbalizing Or Visualizing Metaphors? the Moderating Effects of Processing Mode and Temporal Orientation", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 640-641 .