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The (Ir)relevance of Metaphorical Framing in Reasoning About the Covid-19 Problem

Kristina Štrkalj Despot ; Institute of Croatian Language and Linguistics, Zagreb, Croatia
Mirjana Tonković ; Department of Psychology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia
Ana Ostroški Anić ; Institute of Croatian Language and Linguistics, Zagreb, Croatia

Puni tekst: engleski pdf 316 Kb

str. 219-228

preuzimanja: 126



Previous research has shown that different metaphorical framings lead people to reason differently, even about important social issues. Critics of such investigations argue that there is no empirical evidence to show that framing significantly influences how people think about real-world problems. In our experiment, we investigated the effects of different metaphorical framings on reasoning about possible solutions to the Covid-19 pandemic to verify the results of previous studies investigating hypothetical situations and showing the powerful influence of metaphor on people’s attempts at solving social problems. Randomly assigned to one of three experimental conditions (war, football, and dance framing), participants were asked to imagine themselves as members of the government and, having read a short report about the current pandemic situation in Croatia, they were asked to answer questions regarding their proposed solutions. We found that different framings do not elicit different responses from the participants in terms of reform vs. enforce, local vs. global, and dominance vs. cooperation. The proposed solutions did not differ as a function of metaphorical framing. This result calls for sceptical scrutiny and additional in-depth and more extensive studies of the relevance and power of metaphorical framings in real-life situations.

Ključne riječi

metaphor, framing, Covid-19, war framing, football framing, dance framing, linguistic anthropology

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