Metaphor, Media, and the Market
The volume of press coverage devoted to the prevailing volatility in global financial markets presents opportunity to build interdisciplinary links between the fields of communication and behavioral economics. The findings of this study empirically document significant relationships between news media exposure and economic outcomes, particularly with respect to the effects of metaphor framing on individuals’ subsequent investment decisions.
Informed by the central tenets of prospect theory, the results indicate that just as the effects of loss frames are asymmetric to the effects of gain frames, so too are the effects of metaphoric loss frames asymmetric to the effects of traditional loss frames. Most notably, information about economic loss narrated using metaphor impacts individuals’ decisions to spend and invest in the economy to a greater extent than exposure to the same information narrated without the use of metaphor. When viewed in a broader theoretical context, this outcome also presents prospects for forging continued dialogues between the disciplines of communication and behavioral economics as well as within subdisciplines of communication―namely, between rhetorical studies and communication effects research.