Some Issues in the Measurement of Children's Comprehension of Metaphorical LanguageChild Development (1980)
Elementary school children ranging in age from 7 to 12 years read several short stories and selected (from a set of four alternatives) the sentence they thought best completed the story. The correct alternatives were related to the stories in either a figurative (simile or metaphor) or a literal manner. In two experiments, subjects selected the correct alternatives significantly more often when they were similes than when they were semantically equivalent metaphors. They also made more correct selections when the alternatives specifically denoted the referent of the metaphorical comparison than when the identity of the referent had to be inferred. The data were interpreted as supporting the view that measures of metaphor comprehension often confound general language performance variables with metaphoric ability.
Citation InformationRalph E. Reynolds and Andrew Ortony. "Some Issues in the Measurement of Children's Comprehension of Metaphorical Language" Child Development Vol. 51 (1980) p. 1110 - 1119
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/ralph_reynolds/32/