Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Child Dev. 1990 Aug;61(4):983-94.

Visual and verbal metaphors: developmental interactions.

Author information

Psychology Department, Miami University, Oxford, OH 45056.


This study investigated developmental changes in children's abilities to comprehend visual metaphors as measured by their use of verbal metaphor. The visual metaphors were compound objects, e.g., a top with features of a ballerina (head and skirt). 30 participants at each of 4 ages--5, 7, 10, and adult--described objects ordered in pairs; half described standard objects and the other half corresponding compound objects (half stationary, and half moving, e.g., spinning). Total metaphoric descriptions reached the adult frequency by age 7 for compound objects, but increased from 5 to 10 to adult for standard objects. For all but the youngest children, moving objects were more likely to be described using action vehicles. These results indicate that from 5 to 7 children improve in the ability to understand visual metaphors, which display topic-vehicle interaction; from 5 through 10 to adulthood they improve in the ability to comprehend metaphoric similarity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Support Center