6. A cross-cultural study of metaphoric understanding
This chapter was an attempt to investigate the similarities and differences in the metaphoric understanding in Chinese and English children and adults. 115 and 123 participants took part in two experiments respectively. Participants’ interpretations were classified as perceptual, psychological, behavioural, functional, no-response, evaluative, descriptive, cross-sensory or associative, etc. Psychological and perceptual explanations were found to be the two main explanations people gave. Results showed that adults gave a larger number of psychological interpretations than children in the explanation task, but similar in multiple-choice task which indicated that there were fewer obvious differences between children and adults in the understanding of psychological interpretations than in their production; Chinese people gave more psychological interpretations than English in each age group; and English adults gave more perceptual interpretations than Chinese adults.