Structural constraints and object similarity in analogical mapping and inference

Daniél C. Krawczyk, Keith J. Holyoak, John E. Hummel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Theories of analogical reasoning have viewed relational structure as the dominant determinant of analogical mapping and inference, while assigning lesser importance to similarity between individual objects. An experiment is reported in which these two sources of constraints on analogy are placed in competition under conditions of high relational complexity. Results demonstrate equal importance for relational structure and object similarity, both in analogical mapping and in inference generation. The human data were successfully simulated using a computational analogy model (LISA) that treats both relational correspondences and object similarity as soft constraints that operate within a limited-capacity working memory; but not with a model (SME) that treats relational structure as pre-eminent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-104
Number of pages20
JournalThinking and Reasoning
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Structural constraints and object similarity in analogical mapping and inference'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this