International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy

Volume 22 Num. 1 - March 2022


Effect of Adjusting Cultural Backgrounds on the Impact of Metaphors: A Preliminary Study

Volume 22 Num. 1 - March 2022 - Pages 45-63


Taiki Shima , Natsumi Tsuda , Kazuki Hashiguchi , Takashi Muto


This pilot study investigated the impact of cultural background adjustment on the effect of metaphors, which are used in acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) as tools for behavioral change. For adequate function, scholars propose the effectivity of employing examples of metaphors in line with individual characteristics or cultural contexts. Therefore, this study conducts a preliminary investigation of the effect of metaphors adjusted to reflect cultural context on students from a different culture than the one in which the metaphor was created. The increase rates of the tolerance time of a cold-pressor task time were compared between three groups, namely, (a) adjusted (ACT metaphor adjusted to the Japanese culture; n= 12); (b) translated (translated ACT metaphor in a textbook; n= 12); and (c) control (without metaphor; n= 11). Analysis revealed that the adjusted group displayed a significant increase rate compared with the other groups with large effect sizes. Additional analysis using a reliable change index revealed that although 8.33% of participants showed significant increment in the translated group, 33.33% in the adjusted group. Those who showed significant increment were participants with high mindfulness traits. Therefore, the result suggested that adjusting the cultural context is a factor that can increase the effect of metaphors and mindfulness may moderate the effect.

How to cite this paper:
Shima T, Tsuda N, Hashiguchi K, & Muto T (2022). Effect of Adjusting Cultural Backgrounds on the Impact of Metaphors: A Preliminary Study. International Journal of Psychology & Psychological Therapy, 22, 1, 45-63.

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