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Download CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X5 Download Illustrator CS4 I hope I helped you! Yes thanks, this information helped me a lot, I downloaded Adobe Photoshop and is very happy with it.

Archive for the ‘Metaphors’ Category

Metaphors Link Emotions and Senses

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

Metaphors play an important role in learning, communication, creativity, decision-making and all nearly all of our mental processes. Metaphors are a power tool for cognitive designers.

They are a window in how our minds are actually working and when properly designed they can shift behaviors and bring cognitive performance to new levels.

That’s why I am always on the lookout for new scientific results on cognition and metaphors.

Take for example the article, What do love and jealously taste like? just published in the journal Emotion. Interestingly, the researchers found that those primed for the emotion of love reported  that water tasted sweeter than normal or when they are primed for another emotion such as jealously or happiness.   This provides some evidence that the metaphor “Love is sweet” impacts our perception of taste.  Another case of expectations and psychology shaping senses and physiology.


Using Metaphors to Achieve Cognitive Impact

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Designing a good metaphor can speed and deepen learning, decision-making and even stimulate creative breakthroughs.  They are a staple of cognitive design. In my cognitive design course at Northwestern we sometimes devote an entire module to metaphor engineering. They are really useful in managing organizational change efforts but tend to be ignored. Same for education.

I am always on the lookout for good examples of the cognitive power of metaphors, especially in domains outside of marketing and science where we have plenty of examples.  Recently came across a program (and book) for improving emotional self-regulation in young students and children that uses the metaphor of an engine. The Alert Program, asks How Does Your Engine Run? using the metaphor to help children understand and convey their inner mental state:

“The Alert Program uses an engine analogy because many children can relate and learn quickly about self-regulation when talking about their “engine” going into high, low, or just right gears. “

Other metaphors are made to animals or characters such as those in the Winnie the Pooh story. The program appears well researched and evidence based. It provides a good example of how to use metaphors to support behavior control and emotional self regulation.


How Can We Use Retro Design in the Workplace?

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

We have covered retro design, or creating artifacts that trigger/satisfy nostalgia, many times in the Cognitive Design blog. And why not? As our population ages a “yearning for the past” will naturally increase. Meeting that yearning through cognitive design is an important source of innovation that has been tapped in many product and service lines ranging from suits and cars to Coke bottles and office equipment.

 So I am always on the lookout for new insights into why or how nostalgic designs work. Recently found a post on the blog innovation playground that provides some insight into how Nostalgic Clues Create Emotion Connections.  My favorite part:

mcintosh_app_on_ipad.pngA nice surprise for me is now I can download a McIntosh app for my iPad. It is very smart idea, not that the app will upgrade the sound from my iTunes, but the skins with the big blue VU meter brings moments of joy even when I am not in front of my McIntosh. Now I can listen to and playback music from my iPad within the classic McIntosh experience. I can now access to my digital music library in a simple elegant interface inspired by the line of McIntosh audio equipment. Genius idea!! And it is free too!!”

High-end (and old school) stereo amplifiers use to sport big blue meters to display information. They got burned into many peoples’ brains. This example also illustrates how we can wrap existing artifacts in a retro skin. A powerful technique.

Many product and some service innovators have embraced retro design but few if any organizational or workplace designers have.  A clear opportunity. For example, how might we retain talent or improve knowledge worker productivity by satisfying a yearning for the past on the job?


Our Bodies Amplify Cognitive Impact of Metaphors

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

new-view.jpgThe last 30 years of research in the brain, cognitive and behavioral sciences have revealed 10 core traits about how minds work that are especially relevant for designers. Taken together, we can say these 10 traits make up a new view of how minds really work.  For example, two of the traits reveal that our minds are:

Embodied or grounded in sensory information and pattern recognition not abstract thought. We literally use our physical bodies to think, learn and do all things mental.

Metaphor Obsessed or constantly associating one concept with another as a primary means for remembering, making sense of the world, learning and creative expression.

The importance and subtle nature of these two traits are illustrated nicely in a  new Scientific American article,  Body of Thought: How Trivial Sensations Can Influence Reasoning, Social Judgments and Perception.    

“But a rapidly growing body of research indicates that metaphors joining body and  mind reflect a central fact about the way we think: the mind uses the body  to make sense of abstract concepts. Thus, seemingly trivial sensations and  actions-mimicking a smile or a frown, holding smooth or rough objects,  nodding or giving a thumbs-up-can influence high-level psychological  processes such as social judgment, language comprehension, visual perception and even reasoning about insubstantial notions such as time. ”

The interplay between metaphors and embodiment can be especially fruitful for cognitive designers.  The article highlights research that looks at the impact of bodily metaphors (e.g. gestures that trigger metaphorical associations) and seemingly minor sensations (e.g. temperature, hardness, smoothness, smells etc.)  on emotional processing, reasoning about past/future and moral cognition.   For example, striking the so-called power pose can actually influence people to make bolder decisions.


New Insights into the Moral-Purity Metaphor

Monday, October 18th, 2010

metaphor-soap.jpgOne of the more recent findings in cognitive science is that metaphors run deep. We use metaphors to make sense of the world, come up with new ideas, decide, learn and perform any number of mental activities.   Metaphors sit at the center of art, science, religion and culture. Invoking a metaphor can trigger a cascade of automatic associations and thoughts and even influence behavior. Metaphors are powerful primes. From a cognitive design standpoint, we work hard to understand the controlling metaphors operating “between the ears” or our clients.

 I am always on the look out for new scientific studies that provide designable insights into the nature of metaphors. Take for example, the recent article in Psychological Science, Dirty Hands and Dirty Mouths, that studied the moral-purity metaphor.  In this metaphor, as in all others, we seek to understand an abstract concept in terms of something more sensory or concrete.  In the case of the moral-purity metaphor we try and make sense of mortality (the abstraction) by linking it to concrete behaviors involving physical cleanliness.  We “wash away our sins” or we threaten to “wash out your mouth” when you use profanity.  To quote:

“These findings indicate that the embodiment of moral purity is specific to the motor modality involved in a moral transgression, making purification of the “dirty” body part more desirable than purification of other body parts.”

For example,  verbally lying would make the use of mouthwash more desirable.   The flip side also appears to be true:

“Note, however, that people not only avoid physical contact with morally tainted people and objects, but also seek physical contact with virtuous ones (Rozin & Nemeroff, 1990). Hence, they may not only attempt to remove the metaphorical residue of immoral acts, but also avoid removing the residue of virtuous acts. In this case, people would find mouthwash particularly unappealing after conveying a virtuous message in a voice mail and hand sanitizer particularly unappealing after conveying a virtuous message in an e-mail.”

The moral-purity metaphor has clear implications for designers working on ethics issues and programs.   Very interested to hear from readers working in ethics that are using this or other metaphors.


Motion Triggers Deep Metaphors

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

pushing-marbles.jpgThe simple act of moving marbles up or down facilitates the recall and valence of emotional memories  or so claims a new paper, Motor Action and Emotional Memory in the journal Cognition. You can find a good overview of the work in this press release from the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. Test subjects were asked to push glass marbles up or down while recounting an autobiographical memory that was either positive (tell me about the last time your felt proud of yourself) or negative (describe when you last felt ashamed). Here is what they report:

  “When prompted to tell positive memories, participants began recounting their experiences faster during upward movements, but when prompted to tell negative memories, they responded faster during downward movements. Memory retrieval was most efficient when participants’ motions matched the spatial directions that metaphors in language associate with positive and negative emotions. “

The metaphors play a key role:

‘These data suggest that spatial metaphors for emotion aren’t just in language’, Casasanto says, ’linguistic metaphors correspond to mental metaphors, and activating the mental metaphor ‘good is up’ can cause us to think happier thoughts.’

It is not clear how strong these effects are, or if they will be reproduced by other experiments. No matter, small behaviors that may trigger big mental events are always of interest to cognitive designers.


Reinvent Your Desktop in 20 Minutes or Less!

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

bumptop4.jpgBumpTop has released an amazing new way to transform your Window’s desktop into a true-to-life 3D, gesture-based desktop complete with a physics engine, widgets and social networking. The idea is to make your computer desktop be more like your real desktop… only computer enhanced. You can get a fully functional but limited use version for free or pay $30 for the real deal. The file is 10 Megs.

BumpTop is geared much more for how minds work and therefore may be a big step forward in the cognitive design of PC interfaces. To see this clearly watch a three minute YouTube demo on Desktop Zen.

Although optimized for touch-screen technology and Windows 7, I was able to see immediate high-cognitive impact effects on my point-and-click machine.   It will be interesting to see how people use this – it could reveal a lot about how with think about information.  They have half a million downloads so far.

Thanks to Gina for pointing this out and sharing a link to a Fast Company blog post on  BumpTop.

I’ve included some example desktops on the next page.



Moving Hearts and Minds with Metaphors

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

tsunami_by_hokusai_19th_centuryx800.jpgA well-structured metaphor can automatically trigger a cascade of emotions and thoughts that accelerate learning, decision-making, creativity and behavior change.  Metaphors not only move my heart and mind but can also be used as a modeling tool (e.g. Zaltman’s Metaphor Elicitation Technique) to uncover the deep mental structures and cognitive needs of employees and customers.

In short, metaphors as well as similes and analogies are a powertool for cognitive designers or anyone interested in designing for how minds actually work. 

hot-thought.jpgIn his recent book, Hot Thought: Mechanisms and Applications of Emotional Cognition,  Paul Thagard offers an analysis of emotional analogies that is useful for cognitive designers.  He describes three classes of emotional analogies including those analogies about emotions, that transfer emotions and that generate emotions.



The Mind: Old versus New School

Monday, October 13th, 2008

Results from cognitive science over the last 30 years have completely flipped our understanding of how minds work in everyday situations. The old view casts us as conscious thinkers.  Rationally attending to facts to learn and logically weighing alternatives to make decisions.  This view of how minds work infiltrated social policy, economics, education, organizational design, product engineering and service design. The results were the prosperity and problems of the industrial era.

The new view of mind casts us mostly as unconscious emoters. It turns out that when you look at how we really learn, make decisions, solve problems and do other cognitive chores the processes we use are mostly unconscious and driven by metaphors, patterns, biases, mental short-cuts, emotions and other visceral states.  This does not make use irrational just a different type of thinker than was previously assumed. We still reason but more with passion than facts. The calculus of how we think is messier and more of an evolutionary kludge than it is the smooth wheels of a rational computing machine.


 Not embracing this new view of mind as designers has really created some problems.   For example, this is why kids hate math, insurance is still sold rather than bought and we fail to take care of ourselves and save for retirement despite so many educational messages and products to help us. They assume we think and learn based on the old view of mind and talk right past us.

On the other hand, embracing the new view of mind as designers creates some real opportunity for innovation and even competitive advantage.



Deep Metaphors for Breakthrough Design Insights

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

The Zaltman’s have a new book out, Marketing Metaphoria, on the role of metaphors in marketing.

 This is a valuable book for cognitive designers as they share the 7 most common “deep metaphors” they have found at work in the mind of customers around the global (12,000 interviews, 110+ clients, 30+ countries). As we have discussed elsewhere in this blog, metaphors play a basic role in how we perceive, think and feel about the world. They are both a window into unmet cognitive needs and a technique for developing more effective designs.  Understanding the deep metaphors at work in a domain is a pre-requisite to design for how minds work. The seven include: 

1.  Balance “feeling centered”

2.  Transformation “turning over a new leaf”

3.  Journey “stay on track” or “it is downhill from here”

4.  Container “I am in shape” or “it makes me feel empty inside”

5.  Connection “she keeps in me the loop”

6.  Resource “my computer is my bread and butter”

7.  Control “it is out of our hands now”   

Other core metaphors they have found include motion, force, nature and system, but at least one of the seven above always seem to be at play by itself or blended with others.  

Uncovering metaphors is essential for designing how minds work. The book has many examples. My favorite concerns the work done at Oticon an international hearing aids company. Their research showed that nearly 80% of the hearing impaired refused to wear hearing aids. A study of deep metaphors showed that consumers were thinking about hearing aids using the container, connection and transformation metaphors. What consumers wanted want are hearing aids that transformed them from feeling flawed to being closer to their ideal and that “opened up” a whole new world (container).  

This gave Oticon the insights needed to driver two themes including “transform from flawed to attractive” and “escape from entrapment”. These themes shaped adversiting and even led to the redesign of some product features.

In this case, the metaphors reveal the frame of mind consumers needed to have to use the functionality of the hearing aid. They need to feel “attractive and liberated” while wearing hearing aids. This is my favorite example because it illustrates, especially with artifacts that involve behavior change, that designing for a “think and feel” is not just icing on the cake but can be essential for getting the value out of the core functionality of the product.  Remember, without achieving the proper frame of mind, 80% of the hearing impaired will not use a hearing aid.