ERIC Number: ED265212
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Aug
The Role of Schemas in Analogical Problem Solving.
Catrambone, Richard; Holyoak, Keith
In general, people seem to be poor at noticing analogies, especially when they are required to apply an analogy to a domain that is new. It was suspected that schemas influence the noticing and applying of analogies. Schemas are hypothesized to be abstract propositional structures that emphasize relationships among categories of objects rather than specific objects and their actions. Two experiments were conducted to manipulate the likelihood of schema formation and to assess the effects of schemas on analogical problem solving. Schemas were hypothesized to be abstract propositional structures that emphasize relationships among categories of objects rather than specific objects and their actions. In experiment I, instructions and the number of stories were manipulated to form a 2x2 design. The performance of two-analog comparison versus two-analog no-comparison groups suggested that a schema may aid in the noticing of analogies, but not in the application of an analogy. Experiment II was designed to investigate additional processing done by "comparison" subjects in the original experiment. All subjects in the second experiment read two analogs and wrote summaries of them, and compared or did not compare the stories. Within four resulting groups, subjects were either given the target problem or were asked to report back one week later. There was no difference in performance between the delay and no delay groups in solution rates. Results of both experiments suggested that schemas are most helpful, at least for novices, in applying analogies as opposed to the initial noticing of analogies. Analogs and problems used are appended. (LMO)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (93rd, Los Angeles, CA, August 23-27, 1985).