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


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

Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > Spontaneous analogising in engineering design: ...
View graph of relations

« Back

Spontaneous analogising in engineering design: a comparative analysis of experts and novices.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Associated organisational unit

Journal publication date09/2004
JournalDesign Studies
Number of pages14
Original languageEnglish


Although analogical reasoning is claimed to play a central role in creative cognition and the development of expertise, few studies have explored the nature and prevalence of spontaneous analogising in design contexts. We report an experimental comparison of analogy use by expert and novice design engineers. Concurrent think-aloud protocols were analysed to derive measures of the rate of schema-driven analogising (i.e., the recognitionprimed application of abstract experiential knowledge that could afford a design solution to a familiar problem type), and case-driven analogising (i.e., the invocation of a concrete prior design problem whose solution elements could be mapped onto the current problem). Results supported our prediction that expert designers would demonstrate more schema-driven than case-driven analogising, whilst novices would show the reverse pattern of analogising. We discuss the implications of these results for theories of design cognition and expert design practice.

Bibliographic note

The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Design Studies 25 (5), 2004, © ELSEVIER.