Empirical Studies of Poetic Metaphor

Joseph Glicksohn, Chanita Goodblatt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter has two primary goals: first, to present a concise survey of scholarship on empirical studies of poetic metaphor; and second, to define several major issues seen in such empirical studies that can guide future research in this field. In the survey, we distinguish among three types of experimental methodology employed in this interdisciplinary domain: reaction-time (RT) studies investigating, for example, semantic decisions; the use of rating scales assessing, for example, metaphor aptness; and the use of thinking-aloud protocols investigating, for example, the process of metaphor comprehension or the experience of affect. This review considers such questions as: Should poetic metaphor be studied in isolation from the context of the poetic text? Should similes and metaphors be treated equivalently in an empirical study? In the discussion of the methodologies, major questions raised include: Who should be the readers of the poetic text? Should the studies of poetic metaphor be necessarily informed both by literary scholarship and cognitive psychology? What are the methodological strengths and limitations of the empirical studies?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Empirical Literary Studies
EditorsDonald Kuiken , Arthur M. Jacobs
Publisherde Gruyter
Number of pages23
ISBN (Print)9783110645958
StatePublished - 20 Sep 2021

Publication series

NameDe Gruyter Reference


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