To Discover or to Create: Metaphors and the True Self
Version of Record online: 29 JUN 2012
© 2011 The Authors. Journal of Personality © 2011, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of Personality
Volume 80, Issue 4, pages 969–993, August 2012
How to Cite
Schlegel, R. J., Vess, M. and Arndt, J. (2012), To Discover or to Create: Metaphors and the True Self. Journal of Personality, 80: 969–993. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.2011.00753.x
- Issue online: 9 JUL 2012
- Version of Record online: 29 JUN 2012
- Accepted manuscript online: 3 NOV 2011 09:40AM EST
Three studies examined how endorsement of self-discovery and self-creation metaphors influences belief in the true self and its use as meaning source. It was hypothesized that discovery metaphors contribute to belief in the true self and bolster the relationship between true self-knowledge and meaning. Study 1 supported the hypothesis that discovery is positively associated with belief in the true self among a sample of college students (N = 311). Studies 2 and 3 extended the analysis by showing that the discovery metaphor also facilitates perceptions of meaning and the use of the true self specifically as a source of meaning in a second sample of college students (N = 75) as well as an adult sample of university employees (N = 173). Implications for understanding what enables the true self to infuse life with meaning, as well as an individual differences approach to metaphoric cognition, are discussed.