People feel good when they figure analogies out
When readers encounter a metaphor, scholars believe, they:
- Process the literal meaning
- Analyze whether the literal meaning makes sense
- See the glitch in that meaning
- Seek the metaphorical meaning when the literal meaning doesn’t make sense
Some of the power of metaphor comes from readers’ pleasure or relief at figuring out the metaphorical meaning, researchers believe.
Source: Pradeep Sopory and James P. Dillard, “The Persuasive Effects of Metaphor: A Meta-Analysis,” Human Communication Research, July 2002