Effects of principle explanation and superficial similarity on analogical mapping in problem solving

Brian H. Ross, Matthew C. Kilbane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

When solving a problem, people often make use of an earlier problem by mapping the objects from the earlier problem to the current one. Three experiments varied the superficial similarity between study and test problems to discriminate 2 views of the mapping process: direct mapping and near miss. Subjects studied 4 probability principles and study problems and solved test problems. The mapping of earlier problems on the basis of superficial similarity would lead to incorrect answers. In Experiment 1, evidence was found for the direct mapping view: Test problems with more similar objects to the study problems were more likely to be (inappropriately) mapped. However, in Experiment 2, in which the principle explanation was embedded in the study problem, this effect was reversed. In Experiment 3, 2 explanations for the differences in effect were contrasted. The discussion focuses on how principle explanation may affect analogical problem solving.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)427-440
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of principle explanation and superficial similarity on analogical mapping in problem solving'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this