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Social Psychology Speaker Series: Jeffery Mio, “Metaphor Use in Political Persuasion”

The social psychology program at CGU calls its colloquium/symposium meetings “Social Socials” because they are doubly social—they are about social psychology and they are a social event that brings together faculty, students, visitors and anyone who is interested in social psychology. Social Socials invites social psychologists to come talk about their recent/current research on a wide variety of topics. Everyone with an interest in social psychology is welcome. Lunch will be provided.

This event will feature Jeffery Mio, PhD, Professor of Psychology at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

Talk Title: 30 Years of Metaphor: Studying Metaphors Used in Political Persuasion

President Corazon Aquino of the Philippines addressed a joint session of Congress, requesting more foreign aid to her country after years of Ferdinand Marcos diverting U.S. foreign aid to his own personal off-shore bank account. Then Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill said it was the best political speech he had ever heard. Then Senator Robert Dole said, “Madam President, you just hit a home run.” President Aquino replied, “I hope the bases were loaded!” This was the impetus to my years of studying metaphors in politics. I labeled President Aquino’s response as a metaphor extension. My hypothesis is that metaphors that extend an opponent’s metaphor are more effective than metaphors that do not extend the opponent’s metaphor (what I call a competing metaphor) or a literal response to the metaphor. After over 30 years of studying metaphors, I have found support for my Metaphor Extension Hypothesis. This presentation will examine my early years of studying metaphors in politics in general, then honing my interest to the Metaphor Extension Hypothesis.