Figure 156

The mean proportion of incorrect mappings produced by participants in the different conditions of Keane's (1997) Experiment 3. Copyright © 1997 by the American Psychological Association. Reprinted with permission.

Seven core phenomena of analogical thinking proposed by Hummel and Holyoak (1997)

• Pragmatic centrality. When parts of a domain are emphasised (e.g., by instructions) or deemed important they are more likely to be used in a mapping (Spellman & Holyoak, 1996; but see Keane, 1988, 1996).

• Many mappings for one analogy. For any two domains there may be several different analogies drawn (Clement & Genter, 1991; Keane 1997; Spellman & Holyoak, 1996).

• Incrementality. The order in which parts of two domains are incrementally matched can effect the analogy that is found for two domains (Keane, 1997; Keane et al., 1994).

• Unnatural analogies are difficult. Certain mapping problems which involve analogical mapping but lack semantic similarities—so-called unnatural analogies—are much more difficult for people to solve (Keane et al., 1994).

• Mapping predicates with different arguments. In some cases, people can match predicates with different numbers of arguments._

structure to be shared between domains (i.e., matching causal relations should be present in both the A and B lists). The results showed that subjects in the thematic conditions made significantly fewer mapping errors than subjects in the non-thematic problems; a result that has been subsequently replicated (Kubose, Hummel, & Holyoak, in press).

Cognitive neuropsychology of analogical thinking

Analogical thinking is one of the few areas in thinking research where computational models have become tightly constrained by evidence from neurological studies (Hummel & Holyoak, 1997). The LISA model has a restricted short-term memory based on neurological constraints about the number of relations that can be represented and mapped in a given time-step. As in other forms of


Examples of the mapping problems used in Experiment 3 (Keane, 1997)

Thematic List A

List B

Non-thematic List A

List B

Jim kisses Mary. jim loves Mary. Bill loves Mary.

Ruth motivates Debra. Ruth knows Debra. Laura motivates Debra. Laura waves to Ruth.

Jim hugs Mary. Jim sees Mary. Bill sees Mary.

Ruth motivates Debra. Ruth knows Debra. Laura motivates Debra. Laura waves to Ruth.

Bill is jealous of Jim.

Bill is beside Jim.

thought, the prefrontal cortex has been implicated in analogical thinking. Recent PET studies have shown, using proportional analogies with geometrical shapes, that analogical mapping is localised in the left prefrontal cortex and left inferior parietal cortex (Wharton, et al., 1998). Wharton et al.'s task involved identifying source-target pairs of geometrical shapes that were analogous or identical. This is further support for the proposal that analogy, like other forms of thinking, is essentially about the integration of multiple relations, a task that appears to be localised in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (Grafman, 1995; Robin & Holyoak, 1995). Interestingly, Baddeley (1992) has identified the same region as being responsible for working memory and executive functions (see Chapter 6) suggesting that relational integration may be essentially what working memory does (Waltz et al., 1999).

Although analogies may be used to make new discoveries and develop new hypotheses, they are not the only means available to scientists. Other cognitive processes have been implicated in hypothesis formation and entirely different processes are involved in the testing of hypotheses. In the philosophy of science, Karl Popper (1968, 1969, 1972; see also Magee, 1973) argued that hypotheses could never be shown to be logically true by simply generalising from confirming instances (i.e., induction). As the philosopher Bertrand Russell pointed out, a scientist turkey might form the generalisation "Each day I am fed" because this hypothesis has been confirmed every day of his life. However, the generalisation provides no certainty that the turkey will be fed tomorrow, and if tomorrow is Christmas Eve then it is likely to be proven false. Popper concluded that the hallmark of science is not confirmation but falsification. Scientists attempt to form hypotheses that can be shown to be untrue by experimental tests. According to Popper, falsification separates scientific from unscientific activities, like religion and pseudo-science (e.g., psychoanalysis). Against Popper's dictates, most ordinary people and scientists often seek confirmatory rather than disconfirmatory evidence when testing their hypotheses (see Evans, 1989; Gorman, 1992; Mitroff, 1974; Mynatt, Doherty, & Tweney, 1977; Tweney, 1998). For instance, Mitroff (1974) carried out a study of NASA scientists which revealed that they tended to seek confirmation of their hypotheses more often than disconfirmation.

A number of key tasks have been used in the hypothesis-testing literature, most notably the 2- 4-6 task (see Wason, 1960, 1977, and Chapter 16 on the Wason selection task). In the 2-4-6 task, subjects have to discover a rule known to the experimenter, starting with the hint that the number triple 2-4-6 is an instance of it. The experimenter's rule is that the numbers are "an ascending sequence". Subjects have to write down

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