Relations, Objects, and the Composition of Analogies
Version of Record online: 11 FEB 2010
© 2006 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
Volume 30, Issue 4, pages 609–642, July-August 2006
How to Cite
Gentner, D. and Kurtz, K. J. (2006), Relations, Objects, and the Composition of Analogies. Cognitive Science, 30: 609–642. doi: 10.1207/s15516709cog0000_60
- Issue online: 11 FEB 2010
- Version of Record online: 11 FEB 2010
- Received 8 July 2005; received in revised form 28 October 2005; accepted 31 October 2005
This research addresses the kinds of matching elements that determine analogical relatedness and literal similarity. Despite theoretical agreement on the importance of relational match, the empirical evidence is neither systematic nor definitive. In 3 studies, participants performed online evaluations of relatedness of sentence pairs that varied in either the object or relational match. Results show a consistent focus on relational matches as the main determinant of analogical acceptance. In addition, analogy does not require strict overall identity of relational concepts. Semantically overlapping but nonsynonymous relations were commonly accepted, but required more processing time. Finally, performance in a similarity rating task partly paralleled analogical acceptance; however, relatively more weight was given to object matches. Implications for psychological theories of analogy and similarity are addressed.