From David Brooks’ latest New York Times column:
The psychologist Michael Morris points out that when the stock market is going up, we tend to use agent metaphors, implying the market is a living thing with clear intentions. We say the market climbs or soars or fights its way upward. When the market goes down, on the other hand, we use object metaphors, implying it is inanimate. The market falls, plummets or slides.
Here’s the abstract of the Michael Morris paper Brooks references: Metaphors and the market: Consequences and preconditions of agent and object metaphors in stock market commentary. The upshot in terms of investor behavior seems to be this:
Agent metaphors, compared with object metaphors and non-metaphoric descriptions, caused investors to expect price trend continuance.