Representational Change and Analogy: How Analogical Inferences Alter Target Representations

Isabelle Blanchette, Kevin Dunbar

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The ways that analogy alters the representation of target information was investigated in 4 experiments. Participants read information about a target, followed by a potential source analog. Participants later completed a recognition test in which some of the sentences were old, some novel, and some analogical inferences that were not seen before. Participants who read the description of a source analog erroneously recognized analogical inferences as being in the target description. The effect occurred with different delays between study and test and with an unfamiliar target domain. It also occurred when source and target shared few superficial features. Reading-time data suggest that participants were drawing analogical inferences when encoding the source. Overall, these experiments show that analogical inferences are incorporated in the representation of the target and cannot be differentiated from information actually presented.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)672-685
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2002


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