ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2014, Vol. 46 ›› Issue (5): 607-620.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2014.00607

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  1. (西北师范大学心理学院, 兰州 730070)
  • 收稿日期:2013-06-08 出版日期:2014-05-24 发布日期:2014-05-24
  • 通讯作者: 孙继民

The Impact of the Perceptual Similarity of Concrete Objects’ Shape in Visual Metaphor Processing

HU Xueping;SUN Jimin;CAO Rui;YAO Wenqing;WANG Meizhu   

  1. (School of Psychology, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, China)
  • Received:2013-06-08 Online:2014-05-24 Published:2014-05-24
  • Contact: SUN Jimin


视觉隐喻是众多研究者比较关注的领域, 当前多以物体简笔画、漫画及广告等方面的研究为主, 但对与生活密切相关的实物的视觉隐喻研究甚少。因此研究采用掩蔽启动范式、李克特9点量表及语音生成等研究方法, 在物体概念类型(概念相同、概念相异)及形状类型(形状相似、形状相异)条件下, 针对实物图片的形状知觉相似性是否对视觉隐喻加工产生影响进行探讨。结果发现无论物体概念是否相同, 形状相似性对个体的物体识别具有“促进”作用, 并有利于视觉隐喻加工; 在物体识别中, 当两个物体概念不同时, 个体会试图建立一个特设类别来对形状相似的物体进行归类, 从而实现了视觉隐喻的加工。因此研究进一步证明了实物形状的知觉相似性有利于视觉隐喻的加工。

关键词: 视觉隐喻, 形状, 知觉相似性, 物体识别, 特设类别


Previous studies have shown that the shape effect exists in comparing or recognizing simple black and white line drawing objects in the visual metaphor processing, but not for concrete objects. However, all objects in our world are either natural or artificial, therefore doing research on concrete objects seems to be a great significance in helping us to know the world. In the present study, three experiments were conducted to explore the shape effect in four different experimental conditions: conceptually and perceptually similar, conceptually similar and perceptually dissimilar, conceptually dissimilar and perceptually similar, and conceptually and perceptually dissimilar. In this way, we could explore the role of the perceptual similarity of concrete objects’ shape in visual metaphor processing, especially when common categories were absent. Experiment 1 and 2 demonstrated whether perceptual similarity affects the visual metaphor processing, and we used the production task during the third experiment to explore how perceptual similarity affects visual metaphor processing, and what inner psychological processing is. Based on the masked priming paradigm, we used similarity judgment tasks in the first experiment, matching pictures were presented for a duration of 48 ms only and the participants needed to judge whether the picture pairs could be used for the same purpose. The result showed that no matter the concept was the same or not, similarity in shapes had a “facilitation effect” on individual object recognition, and the functional consistency judgment of shape similarity was significantly faster than that of shape dissimilarity. In the second experiment, the object pairs were simultaneously presented for 2 seconds, during which participants were asked to perform the 9 points Likert scale to rate the functional consistency. The result suggested that in the absence of category, individuals would be experienced uncertainty and had a moderate rating when they made judgments on the function of objects which had similar shapes. A production task was applied in the third experiment, within a time frame of 20 seconds, participants were asked to describe pictures presented with pairs, in order to test whether shape similarity affected the number of correspondences between two objects, then we analyzed the correspondences and speech onset times. The results suggested that when objects were similar in shape, individual speech onset time was shorter than when the shape was dissimilar, and much more consistent descriptions would be produced. When common categories were absent, individuals would try to build an ad hoc category to achieve object classification. In conclusion, according to results of the three experiments, physical shape similarity is more “conducive” for object recognition and visual metaphor processing.

Key words: visual metaphor, shape, perceptual similarity, object recognition, ad hoc category