Is It Better to Be in Shape or on Top of It? The Impact of Control, Valence, and Expectedness on Non-Spatial Uses of in and on

AbstractUsing the prepositions in and on, Jamrozik and Gentner (2015; 2014; 2011) explored a particular factor of meaning that was hypothesized to serve as a metaphorical link between spatial and abstract concepts. Across several studies, these researchers have provided evidence for the idea that there is a “continuum of control” that exists for both spatial and abstract uses of in and on. Our research explores other potential meaning factors that might play a role in non-spatial uses of in and on. Our results replicate and extend Jamrozik and Gentner’s (2011) findings. We advocate using a multi-componential approach as research involving indirect metaphors continues moving forward.

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