WOW! What a Surprise this is!! Not – for a hypnotist though.

Hidden Metaphors Get under Our Skin

Look around. Do you see four walls or an expansive vista? The answer could influence your ability to think creatively. A growing body of research suggests that our sensory experiences can trigger metaphorical thinking, influencing our insights and behavior without us even realizing it. New research reveals ways we might be able to harness these subconscious forces.

Consider, for example, the metaphorical idea that the heart is warm and emotional and the head is cool and rational. In a study in August in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, researchers led their subjects to believe they were investigating how people answer questions when using their nondominant hand. To ensure they did not use their dominant hand, the participants were instructed to place their dominant index finger either on their temple or on the left side of their chest. Participants who pointed at their head answered test questions more accurately, and those who pointed at their heart were more likely to let emotions sway their decisions in a moral dilemma. The finding adds to a rapidly growing list of metaphor effects: past studies have found that seeing forward motion can propel us to “move forward” in a metaphorical sense and that feeling smooth textures makes a difficult social interaction feel easier (or go more “smoothly”).