ERIC Number: ED354251
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-May
Reference Count: N/A
Evidence for Structural Alignment during Similarity Judgments.
Markman, Arthur B.; Gentner, Dedre
Similarity plays a central role in cognitive theories. 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 of properties of whole objects. Previous work has been unable to reconcile this variety of information within a single framework. It is suggested 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 of a pair. A second prediction is that salient local similarities temper the preference for a global alignment. These hypotheses are tested in four experiments involving undergraduates and using the one-shot mapping technique, which places local and global similarities in opposition. Results support the predictions of the structural alignment view, and highlight the importance of the binding between relations and their arguments for similarity. Eleven figures and 8 tables illustrate the discussion, and 77 references are included. (Author/SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Naval Research, Arlington, VA.; National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Illinois Univ., Urbana. Beckman Inst. for Advanced Science and Technology.