MINERVINO Ricardo Adrian
congresos y reuniones científicas
Mapping and adaptation difficulties in analogical problem solving
MINERVINO, RICARDO; MÁXIMO TRENCH; JAVIER DE LA FUENTE ARNANZ
Congreso; IX European Congress of Psychology; 2005
European Federation of Psychologist Associations
Holyoak, Novick and Melz (1994) have postulated that analogical mapping is relatively easy to perform, and that the primary difficulty in analogical thinking lies in adaptation. We conducted an experiment to demostrate that ease or difficulty of mapping and adaptation depend on the type of difference introduced by the target analogue with respect to the source one, that mapping is not an easy task per se, and that adaptation is not a difficult task per se. Experimental participants first studied the method for solving an algebra word mixture problem. Afterwards, they were presented with four similar mixture problems. Control participants had to solve these four problems without previous instruction. Experimental participants were asked to complete a mapping task between the source and each target problems, and to apply the source solution to each of these target problems (adaptation). Data showed that mapping is not always easy to perform and that adaptation could result instead fairly easy. Mapping seems to result difficult when the target problem introduces important changes in the situation model with respect to the one implicated in the source problem. Adaptation seems to result easy when the difference introduces by the target problem only requires understanding the isolated meaning of one of the variables of the source equation but not the complete structure of it. We also found that some of the difficulties in analogical transfer lies in the representation stage, a step seriously neglected in the studies of analogical problem solving. We concluded it is not sensible to think of analogical subprocesses as easy or difficult per se without further specifications. We discussed Holyoak and colleagues` thesis in light of certain criticisms formulated against the standard point of view of mapping and adaptation.