In the present study we investigated whether the mental representation of the concept categories is represented by the container image schema (Lakoff & Johnson, 1980). In two experiments participants decided whether two pictures were from the same category (animal or vehicle). Pictures were presented inside or outside a frame that should activate the container schema. We found that performance to pictures was influenced by the frame in congruence with the metaphorical mapping (same category - inside bounded region; different category - not in same bounded region). These results show that the concept categories is metaphorically represented by containers.

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Keywords Abstract concepts, Conceptual metaphor, Grounded cognition, Image schema
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Journal Experimental Psychology
Boot, I, & Pecher, D. (2011). Representation of categories: Metaphorical use of the container schema. Experimental Psychology, 58(2), 162–170. doi:10.1027/1618-3169/a000082