1. Models, analogies and metaphors

Unfortunate examples of analogies and metaphors

Difference Between Analogy and Metaphor

That’s very well put, slehar! I like the idea of an analogical or metaphorical “act”. It reminds me of one of the great challenges for neuroscience — how the brain brings disparate things together for comparison.

Good readers know how to use analogies and metaphors to get at the meaning of a passage.

The Difference Between Analogy and Metaphor - technology

For many years it was therefore of no interest to scientists who perceivedthemselves as dealing only in univocal terms. But research in fundamentalphysics involving phenomena only describable by complex equations has givenincreasing legitimacy to analogy and metaphor as tools with which to create,comprehend and communicate complex intangibles. Analogy and metaphor, howeverthey may be distinguished, have thus come to serve the same function asthey have traditionally had in theology where metaphor has been used tofocus the mind on the dynamic real.

Analogy vs Metaphor

It is easiest to understand the difference between analogy and metaphor by first understanding what each concept represents. An analogy is a comparison between two different things typically constructed along multiple points that show similarities between certain features or aspects of each thing. For example, an analogy can be drawn between humans and ants by demonstrating that each creature builds elaborate cities and structures, demonstrates hierarchical social behaviors, and utilizes other creatures for labor. This compares the two species to show similarities, but does not contain an argument that states that ants and humans are the same.

The great analogies and metaphors are great…the terrible ones made me laugh aloud! An informative and fun post!


Williams (1986) suggests that vivid metaphors have the capability to teach in a way that is not always available with the use of words alone. That is, rather than offer a word-only definition of a new term or concept, the use of a related example using a metaphor can be very helpful to enhance students understanding. Metaphors that are creatively derived and appropriately applied can augment a students’ critical comprehension of new information (Hoffman, 1983). The application of metaphor in teaching can enhance the learning process by creating vivid imagery that establishes connections between concepts and a students’ prior learning or life experiences (Lawler, 1999). Earle (1995) cautioned against the use of mixed metaphors or imprecise analogies. Unfocused analogical and metaphorical contrasts can adversely impact students’ understanding, perceptions, and actions, resulting in unintentional consequences. Metaphors used in teaching are most helpful when they effectively and accurately communicate their intended relationship between the better and lesser know concepts. If the metaphorical example is subject to varying interpretations, its effectiveness is significantly diminished. The use of analogies or metaphors that are abstract or overly complex are also less effective (Griffey, Housner, & Williams, 1986). A useful metaphorical contrast should posses the fit, relevance, and accuracy to contribute to the intended pedagogical effect of providing the student with greater understanding and clarity.Analogy and Metaphor both create a comparison between two unrelated and different objects or concepts. An analogy makes a comparison between two things in such a way that you can see the relationship between the two. Metaphors are one type of figures of speech that helps to make a comparison between the two things. In simple words, an analogy is a comparison between two things and metaphor is a tool that is used to make this comparison. This can be termed as the main difference between analogy and metaphor.The use of humor, analogy, and metaphor can be valuable in the learning process. From a psychological perspective, humor, analogy and metaphor can be viewed as nonthreatening to ones self-esteem; thus, bypassing the natural resistance to change (Earle, 1995). Glenn (2002) has suggested that there is frequently a link between humor and the use of metaphors in learning. He reported that the use of metaphors and other strategies can “increase retention by as much as 40%” (p.1). Similarly, Hill (1988) found humor coupled with the use of analogy and metaphor provided students with added positive associations and they were more likely to remember information. In using humor, analogy, and metaphor in teaching, however, one must recognize that differences in culture, age, belief, gender, and other distinctions can influence how the information is perceived. The effective use of humor, analogy, and metaphor by teachers can increase student attention, reduce anxiety, improve critical thinking, enhance concept learning, and create a positive classroom environment (e.g., Bryant and Zillman, 1988; Bryant, Comisky, Crane, & Zillman, 1980; Garner, 2003, in press). Students report that teachers who help them learn by using such strategies create a less intimidating environment that is more relaxed and allows the students to become better listeners. As a result, there is an increased level of comprehension and cognitive retention—and of equal importance—a more enjoyable class for the students the instructor.Analogy and metaphor are the confused terms often used in literature. It is so because both concepts are related to form a relationship between the two things. These are the literary devices which serve as the tools of comparison to emphasize visual thinking.Analogy and metaphor are the confused terms often used in literature. It is so because both concepts are related to form a relationship between the two things. These are the literary devices which serve as the tools of comparison to emphasize visual thinking.In literature, most of the times analogy and metaphor are being confused in their usages. Probably, this is due to both are pertaining to a between two things. So where does the difference lie?