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Erzsébet Nagy-Antal: A survey of research on analogies and analogical thinking in cognitive science

Recent findings in cognitive psychology and pedagogy have lead to intensifying research attention on analogical thinking, its role in analogical cognition and its application in education. The present study provides a survey of literature on analogies and analogical thinking, emphasising their role in the teaching-learning process. Several interpretations of analogies are discussed. Analogies are categorised from different aspects, their role in cognition is explored and problems encountered in their application are described. The development of analogical thinking is demonstrated. Alternative models proposed for information processing in analogical thinking are compared and contrasted. The relationship between analogical thinking and transfer is discussed as different approaches to the explanation of analogical transfer and the process of analogical problem solving are presented. The role of analogical thinking in the various kinds of cognitive ability is found debatable. Finally, findings are presented from studies in educational psychology on analogical thinking, highlighting individual differences. The study elaborates the notion that the information processing paradigm can be applied in two ways in understanding how analogies promote learning, as context or as a frame of interpretation. Analogies are described as aids to inductive thinking, to acquiring new knowledge, to paradigm change and to overcoming misconceptions.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 100. Number 3. 275-302. (2000)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Nagy Lászlóné, Szegedi Tudományegyetem, Természettudományi Kar, Biológiai Szakmódszertani Csoport, H-6725 Szeged, Tisza Lajos krt. 103.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia