Metaphor Production In the Expression of Emotional Language: An Investigation Into the Influence of Worldview, Epistemological Preference, and Emotional Expressivity

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

William J. Lyddon

Advisor Department



This study was designed to explore the influence of worldview orientation, psychoepistemological commitments, and emotional expressivity on the production of metaphors. Participants were asked to describe emotionally relevant experiences through a written narrative in order to elicit metaphors. The metaphors were then categorized by a panel of therapists trained in Pepper's (1942) root metaphor theory and classification of root metaphors. The Organicism-Mechanism Paradigm Inventory (OMPI), Psychoepistemological Profile (PEP), and Berkeley Expressivity Questionnaire (BEQ) were administered to participants in order to respectively measure worldview, psychoepistemology, and emotional expressivity. A canonical correlation revealed that worldview, epistemological preference, and emotional expressivity explained about four percent of the variance of the total number and type of metaphors produced. In addition, the type and number of metaphors used explained approximately three percent of the variance in worldview, epistemological preference, and emotional expressivity. Another outcome of this study was that the subjectivity of metaphor usage and metaphoric thinking did not lend itself well to the use of a quantitative design.