Image-schematic metaphors are a concept from cognitive linguistics that describes basic building blocks of how we make sense of the world. These metaphors represent users’ mental models and following them in interaction design increases intuitive use. In this paper, we empirically test whether the predictions of the metaphors “important is heavy – unimportant is light” and “black is heavy – white is light” as well as their combination “important is black – unimportant is light” hold true. For this, 20 Japanese subjects had to judge the physical weight of differently colored and weighted objects and infer on the importance of data which was stored on or contained by them. We found that data stored on or in black (compared to white) and heavy (compared to light) objects was perceived as more important, confirming the metaphors.
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