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The Structure and Function of Spontaneous Analogising in Domain-Based Problem Solving.

Bearman, C.R. and Ball, L.J. and Ormerod, T.C. (2007) The Structure and Function of Spontaneous Analogising in Domain-Based Problem Solving. Thinking and Reasoning, 13 (3). pp. 273-294. ISSN 1354-6783

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    Abstract

    Laboratory-based studies of problem solving suggest that transfer of solution principles from an analogue to a target arises only minimally without the presence of directive hints. Recently, however, real-world studies indicate that experts frequently and spontaneously use analogies in domain-based problem solving. There is also some evidence that in certain circumstances domain novices can draw analogies designed to illustrate arguments. It is less clear, however, whether domain novices can invoke analogies in the sophisticated manner of experts to enable them to progress problem solving. In the current study groups of novices and experts tackled large-scale management problems. Spontaneous analogising was observed in both conditions, with no marked differences between expertise levels in the frequency, structure or function of analogising. On average four analogies were generated by groups per hour, with significantly more relational mappings between analogue and target being produced than superficial object-and-attribute mappings. Analogising served two different purposes: problem solving (dominated by relational mappings), and illustration (which for novices was dominated by object-and-attribute mappings). Overall, our novices showed a sophistication in domain-based analogical reasoning that is usually only observed with experts, in addition to a sensitivity to the pragmatics of analogy use.

    Item Type: Article
    Journal or Publication Title: Thinking and Reasoning
    Additional Information: The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Thinking and Reasoning, 13 (3), 2007, © Informa Plc
    Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
    Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Psychology
    ID Code: 973
    Deposited By: Prof Tom Ormerod
    Deposited On: 16 Jan 2008 14:51
    Refereed?: Yes
    Published?: Published
    Last Modified: 24 Oct 2013 10:30
    Identification Number:
    URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/973

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