Explaining children’s failure in analogy making tasks: A problem of focus of attention?


Analogical reasoning is commonly recognized as essential to human cognition, but young children often perform poorly in the classical A:B::C:? analogical reasoning task. Previous eye-tracking results have shown that children did not visually explore the A:B pair as much as adults in this task. We hypothesized that this lack of exploration could help account for the low scores of children in comparison to adults. The present study shows that children’ performance improves significantly if they are required to look at and process the A:B pair before they are shown the full A:B::C:? problem. This confirms our hypothesis that the A:B pair is insufficiently processed by children during the resolution of such problems.

Back to Table of Contents