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Analogical reasoning and mental simulation in design:two strategies linked to uncertainty resolution

Ball, Linden J. and Christensen, Bo T. (2009) Analogical reasoning and mental simulation in design:two strategies linked to uncertainty resolution. Design Studies, 30 (2). pp. 169-186. ISSN 0142-694X

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Abstract

This paper aims to further an understanding of the nature and function of analogising and mental simulation in design through an analysis of the transcripts of two engineering design meetings. Analogies were coded for 'purpose' and in terms of whether they were within-domain or between-domain. Menial simulations were coded for 'focus': technical/functional or end-user. All expressions of uncertainty were also identified. Analogies were found to be typically between-domain (indicative of innovative reasoning) and were evenly distributed across solution generation, function finding and explanation. Mental simulations were predominantly technical/functional. Our most striking observation was that analogies and mental simulations were associated with conditions of uncertainty. We propose that analogising and mental simulation are strategies deployed to resolve uncertainty - a claim that is supported by the fact that uncertainty levels returned to baseline values at the end of analogising and simulation episodes. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Design Studies
Uncontrolled Keywords: analogical reasoning ; mental simulation ; uncertainty resolution ; design strategies ; engineering design ; ENGINEERING DESIGN ; MODELS
Subjects: UNSPECIFIED
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Psychology
ID Code: 52053
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 16 Dec 2011 11:36
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2014 22:58
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/52053

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