Similarity is closeness: Metaphorical mapping in a conceptual task
The conceptual metaphor theory states that abstract concepts are represented by image schemas from concrete domains. In the present study we investigated the mapping for SIMILARITY IS CLOSENESS using tasks with nonlinguistic materials. In Experiments 1 and 2 participants decided whether two squares were similar or dissimilar in colour. The spatial distance between the squares was varied. Performance to similar colours was better at shorter distances, whereas performance to dissimilar colours was better at longer distances. In Experiments 3 and 4 participants made distance decisions to similar and dissimilar colours squares. Performance was not affected by similarity. These results show that metaphorical mappings can be found even beyond the context of linguistic metaphors and that the mapping between SIMILARITY and CLOSENESS is asymmetrical.