12,000

We have over 12,000 students, from over 100 countries, within one of the safest campuses in the UK

93%

93% of Lancaster students go into work or further study within six months of graduating

Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > An Exploration of Real-World Analogical Problem...
View graph of relations

« Back

An Exploration of Real-World Analogical Problem Solving in Novices.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther

Published

Publication date2002
Number of pages6
Original languageEnglish

Conference

Conference24th Conference of the Cognitive Science Society
Period1/01/00 → …

Abstract

Despite the postulated importance of analogising to human cognition, the study of analogical problem solving in the laboratory has found disappointing results. Providing an analogue to a participant prior to asking them to solve a problem gives only a small benefit at best. Recently, studies outside the laboratory have suggested that experts frequently use analogies in realworld situations. It is less clear whether novices can also spontaneously invoke and use analogies to solve realistic problems. In the current investigation, undergraduates were observed solving a large-scale management problem over two weeks. It was found that many analogies were produced (on average 4.6 per one-hour session), and that 77% of these analogies reflected a structural rather than a superficial mapping between a base and a target. It was also determined that 56% of these structural analogies involved non-trivial mappings of higher-order relations. Further, it was found that analogies were drawn to serve two different purposes: problem solving and illustration. In generating illustrative analogies, participants frequently made superficial mappings, but when generating analogies to solve problems, they never made purely superficial mappings.