So far, the "Lady Macbeth Effect" has been mostly a curiosity -- a peek at the quirkiness of the not-entirely-rational human mind. But might this scientific insight actually be clinically useful? Tel Aviv University psychological scientist Reuven Dar and his colleagues thought that it might.
We all use different metaphors, of course -- they may shift back and forth in a single day. But we also have our core images, the metaphors that really stick, sometimes long after their due date expires.
When I told people I was training to become a therapist the reaction typically was, "That will help you so much as a writer." Actually, it turned out to be the opposite: being a writer helped me as a therapist.
In one experiment, the strength of blink reflexes to unexpected noises was measured and correlated with degrees of reactions to external threats. Conservatives reacted considerably more strongly than liberals.