ArgLab awarded FCT Research and Development project - METACARE

October 19, 2018

Evidence-based metaphors for diabetes care

R&D project PTDC/FER‐FIL/28278/2017 (2018-2021)


Metaphors are crucial instruments of communication, especially in chronic care communication. They can make technical or unfamiliar concepts familiar, and thus can be used for explaining medical notions or promoting adherence, compliance, or lifestyle changes. However, at the same time, they can be sources of misunderstanding and confusion. Choosing the most effective metaphors thus becomes a fundamental clinical challenge for chronic care.

The growing need of evidence-based metaphors is the challenge that this project addresses. The goal is to develop a theoretical model of metaphor interpretation and a coding scheme for evaluating metaphor effectiveness. We will apply theoretical advances to the analysis of a corpus of Italian and Portuguese doctor-patient interviews in diabetes care. The metaphors used in doctor-patient interactions will be subjected to a twofold analysis. On the one hand, their effects on the medical communication will be classified considering their role in promoting understanding or causing misunderstanding, communicative gaps, or lack of understanding. On the other hand, the metaphors used will be analyzed considering their relations with the interlocutors’ common knowledge and the reasoning underlying the speaker’s use of a specific metaphor.  

            The project has three objectives, two theoretical and one practical. First, a pragmatic and functional theory of metaphor interpretation will be developed, filling a gap in the literature of philosophy of language. The idea is to conceive metaphors as the object of a process of best explanation of meaning, in which the various presumptions concerning the possible function of the metaphor in the given dialogue, language use, beliefs and values are assessed. This model is aimed at pointing out the role of context and common knowledge in metaphor understanding. The second objective is to develop a coding scheme for capturing degrees of misunderstanding in dialogues, addressing a crucial problem in communication and discourse studies. The communicative effectiveness of a metaphor will be evaluated based on how the interlocutor replies to the metaphorical utterance (the interlocutor’s uptake of the utterance). The empirical goal, concerning the area of communication in diabetes care, is to provide an evidence-based corpus of effective (and ineffective) metaphors concerning diabetes, in which they are also classified and assessed based on the theoretical advances, pointing out whether, why, and how they can be the source of understanding and misunderstanding.  The output is an instrument that will be used in doctors’ training and communication courses (also offered to patients). The theoretical insights and empirical instruments developed can be applied to several other areas of communication.  

             All team members are expert in the theoretical and applicative aspects of the project, and each one is specializing and has achieved excellent outcomes in a specific area of the work plan.

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All Events

Marcin Lewiński. 6 Nov 2019, 16h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "Speech act pluralism in polylogues"

November 06, 2018

Felipe Oliveira, 26 October 2018, 11h, Room I&D 006

Reason-giving as an expressive speech act

October 26, 2018

Value Seminar Talk by Rosalice Pinto, 16:00, Sala B1 1.15

Talk by Rosalice Pinto (CEDIS) at 16 o'clock, Sala B1…

October 26, 2018

Erich Rast, 28 September 2018, 11h, Sala 0.06ID

Value Seminar Talk by Erich Rast (IFILNOVA): Reasons for the…

September 28, 2018

Book Launch: Schizophrenia and Common Sense: explaining the relation between madness and social values with Thomas Fuchs

Schizophrenia and Common Sense: explaining the relation between madness and…

June 25, 2018

Workshop: Misunderstanding, disagreement, manipulation

The idea of the workshop is to explore the blurred…

June 22, 2018

Katharina Stevens, 18 June 2018, 14h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "Argument-Design through Role-Taking"

June 18, 2018

Workshop: Communication and metaphors for health. An educational challenge

The workshop discusses the importance of communication and metaphors in…

June 01, 2018

Inês Hipólito, 30th May 11:00 - 12:00

Lisbon Mind & Reasoning RIP Seminar |"Perception as Cognition: Beyond…

May 30, 2018

Dima Mohammed, 28 May 2018, 16h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "Proposals for the examination of networked…

May 28, 2018

Jakob Krebs, 16 May, 15h to 16h

Lisbon Mind & Reasoning RIP Seminar |"Pictorial Models, Imagination, and…

May 16, 2018

Mehmet Ali Üzelgün, 14 May 2018, 16h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "Level, focus, and force of argumentative…

May 14, 2018

Virtualism and the Mind: Rethinking Presence, Representation and the Self

Lisbon Mind & Reasoning Workshop "Virtualism and the Mind"

April 23, 2018

João Leite, 16 April 2018, 16h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "An Online Social Debating System"

April 16, 2018

Klaus Gärtner, 20 Mar, 2018, 14.30h to 15.30h

Lisbon Mind & Reasoning RIP Seminar |"4E Cognition: Radical or…

March 20, 2018

Javier Gonzalez de Prado Salas, 19 March 2018, 16h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "Reasoning as a self-doubter"

March 19, 2018

Erich Rast, 16.3., Sala 1.05 ID, 16h

Value Seminar Session with Erich Rast, Sala 1.05 ID 16h

March 16, 2018

Value Seminar Marcin Lewiński, Sala 105 ID 16h

Value Seminar with Marcin Lewiński, Sala 1.05 ID 16h

March 09, 2018

Value Seminar Dima Mohammed, Sala 105 ID 16h

Value Seminar with Dima Mohammed, Sala 1.05 ID 16h

March 02, 2018

The 1st European Conference on Argumentation

International Conference | Argumentation and Reasoned Action

June 09, 2015


Faculdade de Direito Universidade Nova de Lisboa