Encoding time and allocation of attention in analogical development


The aim of the current studies was to explore encoding time differences in objects and relations and to investigate whether these differences lead to differences in allocation of attention to object similarity. Using a match-to-sample paradigm with 5- to 6-year-olds and adults, we found that (1) objects were encoded faster than relations for both adults and children, and that (2) children, but not adults, preferentially allocated attention to object similarity. Ultimately, these questions are aimed at identifying the factors responsible for the development of adult-like analogical reasoning. We suggest that changes in selective attention over development may account for the pattern of results seen across these two studies.

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