ERIC Number: ED286746
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Nov-1
Reference Count: N/A
Observed Methods for Generating Analogies in Scientific Problem Solving.
This paper presents evidence to indicate that spontaneously generated analogies can play a significant role in the problem solving process of scientifically trained individuals. In addition, it is suggested that these individuals exhibit more than one method for generating analogies. Ten scientists (representing physics, mathematics, and computer science), were asked to solve a problem involving a spring and weight. Subjects were asked to verbalize their thought processes, which were audiotaped. An analysis of the results indicates that analogies can be generated by an associative process which triggers the new involvement of an old but separate idea, or they can be generated by a transformation process which modifies the current problem situation. Both generation processes are considered to be creative acts, and may be important sources of creative power in scientific thinking. In contrast to the common view of analogous cases, this study indicates that the novelty of a number of the analogies generated by a transformation suggests that they are newly constructed cases, rather than cases recalled directly from memory. These findings may have significant educational implications for the learning of scientific models and the transfer of knowledge to new situations. Numerous figures are supplied. (TW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Contains some light and broken type.