How Inducing Empathy Affects Metaphoric Speech and Emotions



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Empathy and perspective taking are important factors in building interpersonal relationships. As such, if metaphor use is a tool for expressing such emotions, then the use of metaphors likely plays a role in relationship maintenance and satisfaction. Metaphors likely enhance the experience of empathic concern and perspective taking. To test this idea, we developed a study to test whether inducing empathy will cause greater empathic concern and metaphor usage. We predict that individuals within the empathy condition will score higher on the Metaphor Usage Measure – Revised and will have stronger associations with feelings of empathic concern. We tested this hypothesis using a survey where participants (N = 197) watched a video on a story of a young girl living in Africa and wrote responses for what they watched in the video. There were two condition groups within the study: Empathy (N = 99) and Neutral (N = 98). The neutral condition scored higher on empathic concern and MUM-R. There were not any significant results found within the empathy condition. The findings reveal that the condition has no effect on empathic concern.