ERIC Number: ED297992
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Sep-29
Reference Count: N/A
Observed Methods for Generating Analogies in Scientific Problem Solving. Revised.
Evidence from video tapes of experts thinking aloud and using analogies in scientific problem solving is presented. Four processes appear to be important in using an analogy: (1) generating the analogy; (2) establishing confidence in the validity of the analogy relation; (3) understanding the analogous case; and (4) applying findings to the original problem. This study concentrates on the first process. Evidence was found for three different methods of analogy generation: generation via a principle, generation via an association, and generation via a transformation. The mechanism underlying analogy generation is usually described as an association process. Transformation processes, where the subject modifies or transforms some aspect of the original problem may be just as important if not more important. In contrast to the usual view of an analogous case as already residing in memory, several of the analogous cases were quite novel, indicating that they were newly invented Gedanken experiments. The usefulness of some analogies appears to lie in a "provocative" function of activating additional knowledge schemas that is different from the commonly cited "direct transfer" function where established knowledge is transferred fairly directly from the analogous to the original case. (Author/CW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Revision of an earlier paper; see ED 286 746.