Analogical comparison principle

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Brief statement of principle

Analogical comparison operates through aligning and mapping two example problem representations to one another and then extracting their commonalities (Gentner, 1983; Gick & Holyoak, 1983; Hummel & Holyoak, 2003). This process discards the elements of the knowledge representation that do not overlap between two examples but preserves the common elements. The resulting knowledge organization typically consists of fewer superficial similarities (than the examples) but retains the deep causal structure of the problems. Research on analogy and schema learning has shown that the acquisition of schematic knowledge promotes flexible transfer to novel problems. Many researchers have found a positive relationship between the quality of the abstracted schema and transfer to a novel problem that is an instance of that schema (Catrambone & Holyoak, 1989; Gick & Holyoak, 1983; Novick & Holyoak, 1991).

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