The Influence of Money-related Metaphors on Financial Anxiety and Spending

Mike Kersten, Cathy R. Cox, Erin A. Van Enkevort, Robert B. Arrowood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


People often use metaphors to discuss their financial prospects–for example, finding a fortune or searching for wealth. The purpose of the present research was to utilize conceptual metaphor theory to study the effect of metaphor use on money anxiety and spending intentions. Specifically, in three experiments, participants were randomly assigned to complete a word search puzzle where they either found the word fortune or where they searched but were unable to find the word wealth. The results revealed that the act of finding the word fortune in comparison to searching for wealth decreased concerns about money (Studies 1–3) and increased spending intentions (Study 3). These findings suggest how the activation of subtle money-related metaphors can influence attitudes and perceptions toward money.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-242
Number of pages14
JournalMetaphor and Symbol
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language


Dive into the research topics of 'The Influence of Money-related Metaphors on Financial Anxiety and Spending'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this