Accession Number : ADA257810
Title : Evidence for Structural Alignment during Similarity Judgments
Descriptive Note : Technical rept.
Corporate Author : ILLINOIS UNIV AT URBANA-CHAMAPIGN
Personal Author(s) : Markman, Arthur B ; Gentner, Dedre
Report Date : Apr 1992
Pagination or Media Count : 64
Abstract : Similarity plays a central role in cognitive theories. Much research has been devoted to understanding what makes a pair of objects similar. This research has demonstrated that the similarity of a pair increases with its commonalities and decreases with its differences. These common and distinctive elements can take the form of parts of objects, relations between parts on properties of whole objects. Previous work has been unable to reconcile this variety of information within a single framework. We suggest that structural alignment, like that proposed to mediate analogical reasoning, provides a sufficiently powerful process for determining the commonalities and differences of complex representations. The main prediction of this approach is that similarity comparisons focus subjects on the global commonalities a pair. A second prediction is that salient local similarities temper the preference for a global alignment. We test these hypotheses in four experiments using the one shot mapping technique, which places local and global similarities in opposition. The results support the predictions of the structural alignment view, and highlight the importance of the binding between relations and their arguments for similarity. Similarity, structural alignment, analogical mapping.
Descriptors : *PREDICTIONS , *COGNITION , *VISUAL PERCEPTION , *PERCEPTION(PSYCHOLOGY) , *MAPPING , *COMMONALITY , *ANALOG COMPUTER ANALYSIS , GLOBAL , REASONING , HYPOTHESES , COMPARISON
Subject Categories : Psychology
Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE