Analogical comparison principle

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Brief statement of principle

Analogical comparison can facilitate schema abstraction and transfer of that knowledge to new problem. By comparing the commonalities between two examples, students could focus on the causal structure and improve their learning about the concept.

Description of principle

Operational definition


Experimental support

Laboratory experiment support

Several factors have been shown to improve schema acquisition including: increasing the number of examples (Gick & Holyoak, 1983), increasing the variability of the examples (Chen, 1999; Paas & Merrienboer, 1994), using instructions that focus the learner on structural commonalities (Cummins, 1992; Gentner et al., 2003), focusing the learner on the subgoals of the problems (Catrambone, 1996, 1998), and using examples that minimize students cognitive load (Ward & Sweller, 1990).

In vivo experiment support

Theoretical rationale

(These entries should link to one or more learning processes.)

Conditions of application

Caveats, limitations, open issues, or dissenting views

Variations (descendants)

Generalizations (ascendants)