- 公益社団法人 日本心理学会
- 心理学研究 (ISSN:00215236)
- vol.80, no.1, pp.1-8, 2009 (Released:2012-02-14)
This study investigates the mechanism for determining “interestingness” in comprehending metaphorical expressions. In a pilot study, metaphorical expressions were collected from 56 participants. In Study 1, 17 participants were asked to classify these expressions into groups, which were categorized with respect to eight features (e.g., “not understandable”, “mundane”, and “strongly interesting”). In Study 2, 50 participants were asked to judge whether an expression was interesting or not, and the reaction time for their judgment was measured. The results showed that it took longer to judge interesting expressions than to judge non-interesting expressions. The difference in reaction times was interpreted as representing the cognitive process of discerning the meaning of an expression so that it was accessible and comprehensible. In other words, “interestingness” results from successfully resolving the meaning of an expression which was not immediately understandable, which involves some cognitive cost and reduces the stress of not understanding.