Sociocognitive Metaphors Constraints on Sociocognitive Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Infants that are securely attached, then, expect their figures of attachment to be readily available and are quickly and easily comforted if upset. Conversely, those infants that are not securely attached do not share this level of expectation. Among adults, secure attachments provide a base for caregiving and compassion (Mikulincer & Shaver, 2005).


What then causes individuals to describe his or her reality in terms of noncommensurate physical qualities like cleanliness, verticality, weight or temperature? Landau et al. (2010) have provided a convincing argument that these kinds of sociocognitive metaphors are reflective of general basic processes that allow individuals to make the world make sense. However, when looking from the contextual framework of grounded cognition, the psychological importance of sociocognitive metaphors exceeds mental representation and even language. There are some sociocognitive metaphors that seem to provide greater universality that finds its foundation in bodily constraints and schemas that are relational, rooted in historic brain structures. While other sociocognitive metaphors are different across cultures but somehow emerge from very specific "cultural differences in embodiment" (IJzerman & Koole, 2011).

Thus, grounding sociocognitive metaphors may be increasingly assistive in elucidating motivational significance. The majority of the most frequently used sociocognitive metaphors that people are passionate and care deeply about such as morality, self, power and love. From a grounded cognition perspective, this is not coincidental. Sociocognitive metaphors, therefore, do not exist simply for the sake of mental representation alone. They exist for action as well. What makes metaphors meaningful may be directly correlated and linked to what motivates an individual. Being psychological and physically close to other individuals may be especially important in times when individuals think about the self as powerful and may be especially important as individuals prepare to use physical force (Schubert & Koole, 2009). As such, a grounded cognition perspective may offer a plausible explanation for the enduring psychological appeal of sociocognitive metaphors (IJzerman & Koole, 2011).


Ainsworth, M., Blehar, M., Waters, E., & Wall, S. (1978). Patterns of attachment. Hillsdale NJ: Erlbaum.

Barsalou, L. (1999). Perceptual symbol systems. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 22, 577-609.

Cohen, D., Leung, A., & IJzerman, H. (2009). Culture, psyche, and body make each other up. European Journal of Social Psychology, 39, 1298-1299.

Fiske, S., & Taylor, S. (1991). Social cognition. New York, NY: Random House.

Fiske, A. (1991). Structures of social life: The four elementary forms of human relations.

New York: Free Press.

Fiske, A. (1992). The four elementary forms of sociality: Framework for a unified theory of social relations. Psychological Review, 99, 689-823.

Fiske, A. (2004). Relational models theory 2.0. In N. Hamslam (ed.), Relational models theory: A contemporary overview (pp. 3-25), London, United Kingdom: Erlbaum.

Higgins, E. (1996). Knowledge activation: Accessibility, applicability and salience. In E.T. Higgins & A.W. Kruglanski (eds), Social Psychology: Handbook of basic principles (pp. 133-168). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Hove, M., & Risen, J. (2009). It's all in the timing: Interpersonal synchrony increases affiliation. Social Cognition, 27, 949-960.

IJzerman, H., & Koole, S. (2011). From perceptual rags to metaphoric riches -- Bodily, social and cultural constraints on Sociocognitive metaphors: comment on Landau, Meier, and Keefer. Psychological Bulletin, 137(2), 355-361.

IJzerman, H., & Semin, G. (2010). Temperature as a ground for social proximity. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 867-873.

Johnson, C. (1997). Learnability in the acquisition of multiple senses: Sources reconsidered. In J. Moxley, J. Juge, & M. Juge (eds.), Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society (pp. 469-480). Berkeley, CA: Berkeley Linguistics Society.

Lakoff, G., & Johnson, M. (1999). Philosophy in the flesh: The embodied mind and its challenge to Western thought. New York: HarperCollins.

Macrae, C., & Bodenhausen, G. (2000). Social cognition: thinking categorically about others. Annual Review of Psychology, 51, 93-120.

Macrae, C., Bodenhausen, G., Milne, A., & Jetten, J. (1994). Out of mind but back in sight: Stereotypes on the rebound. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 67, 808-817.

Mandler, J. (2004). The foundations of mind: Origins of conceptual thoughts. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Mikulincer, M., & Shaver, P. (2005). Attachment security, compassion, and altruism.

Current Directions in Psychological Science, 14, 34-38.

Niedenthal, P., Barsalou, L., Winkielman, P., Krauth-Gruber, S., & Ric, F. (2005). Embodiment in attitudes, social perception, and emotion. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 9, 184-211.

Piaget, J., & Inhelder, B. (1969). The psychology of the child. New York, NY: Basic Books.

Schubert, T., & Koole, S. (2009). The embodied self: Making a fist enhances men's power-related self-conceptions. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 828-834.

Smith, E. (1998). Mental representations and memory. In D. Gilbert, S. Fiske, & G. Lindzey (eds.), Handbook of social psychology (Vol. 1, 4th ed., pp. 391-445). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

Smith, E., & Semin, G. (2004). Socially situated cognition: Cognition in its social context. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 36, 53-117.

Stapel, D., & Koomen, W. (2000). How far do we…

Cite This Essay:

"Sociocognitive Metaphors Constraints On Sociocognitive" (2011, November 25) Retrieved August 17, 2017, from

"Sociocognitive Metaphors Constraints On Sociocognitive" 25 November 2011. Web.17 August. 2017. <>

"Sociocognitive Metaphors Constraints On Sociocognitive", 25 November 2011, Accessed.17 August. 2017,