Metaphors and creativity: Direct, moderating, and mediating effects

Alex Marin, Martin Reimann, Raquel Castaño

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Through five experiments, this research advances knowledge about the influence of metaphors on creative cognition by showing that perceiving images that carry metaphoric meaning can alter consumers' creativity. While the results of Experiment 1 reveal that positive metaphors representing ideas like "Thinking outside the box" increase creative output, Experiment 2 uncovers that a negative metaphor conveying ". I am burnt out" decreases it. Experiment 3 shows that the metaphor-creativity link is moderated by analogical reasoning skills, and Experiments 4a and 4b reveal the mediating role of creative intent. In addition to implying that marketers can use metaphors to enhance consumers' creative feedback in areas like new product development, this research also makes important theoretical contributions by showing (1) that metaphors that are visually conveyed (in addition to tangible objects or physical exercises) can not only raise but also lower creative output, (2) that a unique cognitive skill alters the metaphor-creativity link, and (3) that consumers' creative intent contributes to that relationship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)290-297
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Consumer Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • Analogical reasoning
  • Consumers' creative cognition and behavior
  • Creative intent
  • New product development
  • Positive and negative metaphors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Marketing


Dive into the research topics of 'Metaphors and creativity: Direct, moderating, and mediating effects'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this