Alessandro Antonietti, Manuela Cantoia, Gianfranco Cordara

(Ir)realtà psicologica di alcuni meccanismi della soluzione di problemi per analogia

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Several authors maintained that, when people solve a novel problem (target) by retrieving an idea embedded in an analogous familiar situation (source), they follow a step-by-step process which allows to transfer information from the source to the target. The question addressed in this paper concerns the degree of psychological reality of such a process. Introspective reports (Study 1) and thinking aloud data (Study 2) failed to support the alleged incremental nature of analogical mapping. Results showed that source-target correspondences are suddenly realized and that subjects seldom transfer the solution to the target by means of a systematic process. Further, just after subjects have focused their attention on the source, they find quickly the solution elements. Finally, the analogical response is not reached through the sequence of the solution steps predicted by theoretical models.

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