Similarities Between Objects In Analogies Framed By Schema-Governed Categories


The present study was aimed at assessing the effect of object similarities on participants' evaluations of analogical quality. Results from an experimental condition in which the relations involved in the compared situations were explicitly highlighted, showed that general object similarities (membership to same category) positively affected the evaluations of analogical quality. In contrast, no such effect was found under another experimental condition in which the analogical comparisons between the same situations were framed by a schema-governed category. An analysis of participants' justifications revealed that the object similarities that were taken into account under this second condition were related to central dimensions of the schema-governed category that was used to frame the analogies. We explain these findings within the category assignment approach developed by Minervino et al., and discuss the implications of this alternative perspective of analogical reasoning for the role of similarities between entities playing several thematic roles.

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