TRENCH Juan Maximo
Analogies without commonalities? Evidence of re-representation via relational category activation
NICOLAS OBERHOLZER; MAXIMO TRENCH; KENNETH KURTZ; RICARDO MINERVINO
Frontiers in Psychology
Lugar: Lausanne; Año: 2018 vol. 9 p. 1 - 8
Analogies between cases with matching sets of connectedrelational structure is well-explained by existing theory. Re-representation isposited as an important mechanism to increase the flexibility of analogicalprocessing by allowing the alignment of non-identical predicates acrosscompared cases. It has been proposed that certain kind of categories can becharacterized in terms of the relational structure that its exemplars tend tosatisfy. Such relational categories have the property that all members of thecategory are analogous to one another. We ask whether a process ofre-representation can alter the construal of a case and bring two evidentlynon-analogous cases into analogical alignment if they are both seen as membersof the same relational category. We examine analogies between pairs of caseswhere the base is a canonical example of a relational category and the targetwould not be considered a member of the category on its own?critically, thecases themselves share no evident relational identities or similarities. InExperiment 1, we ask whether presenting a target case as part of an analogicalpairing alters its construal. In Experiment 2, the pairs are presented forjudgment as potential analogies. In both studies, participants interpret the targetcases differently (consistent with the relational category) as a result ofprocessing the analogy. There are two main implications: (1) a form ofre-representation is at work in which the activation of a relational categorytriggers an alternate construal of the target case; and (2) this suggests apath to analogical status for cases that lack relational identities orsimilarities if the cases can both be fit to the same relational category.