The Resonance of Metaphor: Evidence for Latino Preferences for Metaphor and Analogy

Peter Ondish, Dov Cohen, Kay Wallheimer Lucas, Joseph Vandello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


People of different cultures communicate and describe the world differently. In the present article, we document one such cultural difference previously unexplored by psychologists: receptiveness to metaphors. We contrast Spanish-speaking Latinos with Anglo-Americans, Asian Americans, and Latinos who do not habitually speak Spanish. Across four experiments, we show that relative to these other groups, Spanish-speaking Latinos show stronger preferences for metaphoric definitions, better recall of metaphors, greater trust in both scientific and political arguments that use metaphor, and stronger liking for and desire to connect with persons who use metaphoric speech. Future directions and implications for improving cross-cultural communication in various settings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1531-1548
Number of pages18
JournalPersonality and social psychology bulletin
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019


  • communication style
  • culture
  • language
  • metaphor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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