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  Previous issue (2021. Vol. 10, no. 4)

Clinical Psychology and Special Education

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (online): 2304-0394


License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published since 2012

Published quarterly

Free of fees
Open Access Journal


Influence of Category Label and Metaphor on Judgments About Mental Disorder Characteristics 164


Aslanov I.A.
MA student, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia

Sudorgina Yu.V.
Intern researcher, Laboratory for the Neurobiological Foundations of Cognitive Development, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia

Kotov A.A.
PhD in Psychology, Senior Researcher of the Laboratory for cognitive research, Department of Psychology,, National Research University 'Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia

Category labels affect people’s judgments regarding mental disorders which are unknown to them. Descriptions of these ‘unknown’ disorders that do have a name, are assumed by people to be more stable and having reasons to exist, when compared with the same descriptions of disorders - without a specific name [3]. However, it is not clear whether this effect can be evoked by other linguistic parameters, for instance, by metaphors. We hypothesized that including a metaphor in the description of a mental disorder would lead to the same effect even without a category name. We replicated a study by Giffin and colleagues’ and added a new experimental condition in which participants read texts with the descriptions of a person’s unusual behaviour without the disorder's name, but with its metaphoric description. After reading the texts, participants assessed a few statements concerning some characteristics of the disorder. The results showed that the effect of a category label was replicated, and the metaphoric description also evoked a significant effect, but it was found in judgments of different characteristics of the disorder.

Keywords: metaphor, category, assessment of mental disorders, explanation, category label

Column: Empirical research


Funding. The reported study was funded by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR), Project Number 19-313-51010

Acknowledgements. We wish to thank M.P. Zherdeva for assistance in data collection and Dr. M. Arsalidou for her comments on earlier versions of the manuscript

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