Detecting analogical resemblance without retrieving the source analogy


We examined whether people can detect analogical resemblance to an earlier experimental episode without being able to recall the experimental source of the analogical resemblance. We used four-word analogies (e.g., robin-nest/beaver-dam), in a variation of the recognition-without-cued-recall method (Cleary, 2004). Participants studied word pairs (e.g., robin-nest) and were shown new word pairs at test, half of which analogically related to studied word pairs (e.g., beaver-dam) and half of which did not. For each test pair, participants first attempted to recall an analogically similar pair from the study list. Then, regardless of whether successful recall occurred, participants were prompted to rate the familiarity of the test pair, which was said to indicate the likelihood that a pair that was analogically similar to the test pair had been studied. Across three experiments, participants demonstrated an ability to detect analogical resemblance without recalling the source analogy. Findings are discussed in terms of their potential relevance to the study of analogical reasoning and insight, as well as to the study of familiarity and recognition memory. © 2010 The Psychonomic Society, Inc.

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Psychonomic Bulletin and Review