Metaphors are both cognitive and affective in their meaning. However, a discussion of affect has been absent from recent theories of metaphor comprehension. This article looks at how affect, broadly conceptualized as positive and negative valence, may interact with cognition during the metaphor comprehension process to provide the full import of metaphorical meaning. Four major metaphor processing theories, which enjoy the most support from psychological studies, are discussed: conceptual structure, salience imbalance, class inclusion, and structure mapping. Given the comprehension mechanisms proposed by these theories, valence can contribute to the affective meaning of a metaphor as part of an experiential gestalt, as a pattern, or in a more componential fashion, as an attribute of an attribute of an object or category and as an attribute of an object or category itself.

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