Lock 'em up

Another compelling piece of research about how metaphor shapes thought.

What’s the best way to combat crime?  Well, when researchers frame crime as a virus or an epidemic, people tended to prefer social reforms (e.g. fixing the economy, improving education)

When researchers framed crime as a wild beast preying on innocent people or a malevolent force that is lurking in our neighborhoods, people tended toward solutions that involve law enforcement or punishment (e.g. calling in the National Guard, hiring more cops, or building more prisons).

All else being equal, Democrats and women generally preferred social reforms, while men and Republicans generally preferred enforcement.  However, the metaphors with which people were primed were MUCH more influential than party affiliation or gender.