Individual Differences in Transfer Mediated by Conceptual Priming


Research in analogical transfer suggests a simple type of transfer that occurs due to the activation of key relational concepts. Analysis on mental structured representations indicates that this transfer may act differently depending upon structural and perceptual features of the priming task. Two hundred eight participants were assigned to three experimental groups where they received a structure-priming,tested once and afterwards they received a perceptual-priming and tested again. As predicted, the effect of structure-priming was found across conditions whereas the effect of perceptual-priming (a six-second animation) was detected only in subjects with high levels of cognitive reflectiveness. These individual differences are interpreted as that only highly reflective subjects were able to process visuospatial cues in the animation and to extract their structural features, hence activating relational concepts that influenced their interpretations of subsequent tasks.

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