Suppression and Language Comprehension

Suppression, in terms of communication, is a cognitive process that interferes with thought and stifles any superfluous or improper information before it can be spoken. Suppression enhances both the effectiveness of communication on the part of the speaker and the ease of understanding on the part of the listener. Studies have shown that suppression affects many aspects of language, including recollection of word meanings, decoding of grammar, and individual differences in language comprehension skills. Furthermore, suppression is thought to play “a crucial role in the understanding of figurative language, in particular, metaphors, idioms, and proverbs.”