There is a very fascinating study that gives us a window in the minds of consumers during the current economic latke. It was done by the extremely smart people at Olson Zaltman Associates. The name of the study is “The US Economy and Its Impact on Americans”. You can download it from their website.
This study is also a very good introduction to the ways metaphor shape thought. It is through metaphors that we can shed light on new ideas. It is through metaphors that we can make sense of the bits and pieces of information in our lives. Olson Zaltman use a proprietary and patented methodology, ZMET. It stands for Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique…I think.
For my fellow writers and English majors, I acknowledge that I have taken some freedoms with the word metaphor. I am including analogies and similes under the same umbrella.