Addiction : disease or gluttony? Examining the influence of metaphorical framing effect on reader reasoning
Tan, Zhi Xin
Date of Issue2016
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
This study built on the foundations laid by previous research on the effects of metaphorical framing in reasoning by investigating a social problem that has not been studied much in this context: addiction. It also added the specificity of the target domain – represented by four different addiction types – as a new dimension to investigate. The ADDICTION AS GLUTTONY and ADDICTION AS DISEASE metaphors were used as the frames differentiating the passages used in this study. Participants (n = 121) were randomly assigned to one type of substance addiction and one type of behavioural addiction each. They were first asked to read a short passage describing the growing problem of that type of addiction before giving some suggestions to address the problem. They were also asked to rank a set of potential courses of action according to how effective they thought the measures were. It was found that only the drug addiction condition conformed to the main hypothesis that readers’ suggestions would be influenced by the metaphorical frame, and that most participants did not identify the metaphor as the most influential part of the passages. More work needs to be done to conclusively determine the influence of target domain specificity.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University