Analogical Retrieval of Folktales: A Cross-Cultural Approach

In: Journal of Cognition and Culture
View More View Less
  • 1 University of California, Davis

Login via Institution

Purchase instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):

€25.00$30.00

Abstract

This cross-cultural study addressed how individuals retrieve and transfer naturally learned information (i.e., folktales) from long-term memory by analogy with a previously unencountered story, concept, or problem. American and Iranian participants read target stories constructed to be analogous to folktales either familiar or unfamiliar to their culture, all having high structural familiarity and either high or low surface similarity to the source folktales. Participants reported whether targets (analogues) reminded them of any specific folktale they had learned in the past; positive responses plus additional justification (i.e., the folktale’s name or its gist) were interpreted as successful analogical retrievals. The current experiment demonstrated a high overall rate of analogical retrieval for familiar folktales and essentially no retrieval for unfamiliar folktales. There was also reliably more retrieval for analogue stories having higher versus lower surface similarity to target folktales. The high salience of surface similarity was also revealed when participants rated retrieved folktales for similarity to the target. Personal familiarity with folktales increased the retrieval rate, but presenting the folktale’s name as a cue produced mixed effects on retrieval. In summary, individuals readily retrieved culturally familiar folktales from long-term memory when they encountered structurally similar analogues, but retrieval was modulated by surface similarity.

  • Barnett, S. M., & Ceci, S. J. (2002). When and where do we apply what we learn? A taxonomy for far transfer. Psychological Bulletin, 128(4), 612637.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bassok, M. (2001). Semantic alignments in mathematical word problems. In: D. Gentner, K. J. Holyoak, & B. N. Kokinov (Eds.), The Analogical Mind: Perspectives from Cognitive Science (pp. 401433). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Blanchette, I., & Dunbar, K. (1997). Constraints underlying analogy use in a real-world context: Politics. In M. G. Shafto & P. Langley (Eds.), Proceedings of the Nineteenth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (p. 867). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bransford, J. D., Brown, A. L., & Cocking, R. R. (1999). How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Brown, A. L., Kane, M. J., & Echols, C. H. (1986). Young children’s mental models determine analogical transfer across problems with a common goal structure. Cognitive Development, 1, 103121.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Catrambone, R. (1996). Generalizing solution procedures learned from examples. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 22: 10201031.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Catrambone, R. (2002). The effects of surface and structural feature matches on the access of story analogs. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 28, 318334.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Catrambone, R., Craig, D. L., & Nersessian, N. J. (2006). The role of perceptually represented structure in analogical problem solving. Memory & Cognition, 34 (5), 11261132.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chen, Z. (2003). Worth one thousand words: Children’s use of pictures in analogical problem solving. Journal of Cognitive Development 4, 415434.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chen, Z., Mo, L., & Honomichl, R. (2004). Having the memory of an elephant: Long-term retrieval and the use of analogues in problem solving. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 133, 415433.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Clement, C. A., & Gentner, D. (1991). Systematicity as a selectional constraint in analogical mapping. Cognitive Science, 15, 89132.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt. (1997). The Jasper Project: Lessons in Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment, and Professional Development. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dehghani, M., Gentner, D., Forbus, K., Ekhtiari, H., & Sachdeva, S. (2009). Analogy and moral decision making. In B. Kokinov, K. Holyoak, & D. Gentner (Eds.), New frontiers in analogy research: Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Analogy (pp. 168177). Sofia, Bulgaria: NBU Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Detterman, D. K., & Sternberg, R. J. (1993). Transfer on trial: Intelligence, Cognition, and Instruction. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.

  • Dunbar, K. (1995). How scientists really reason: Scientific reasoning in real-world laboratories. In R. J. Sternberg, & J. Davidson (Eds.). The Nature of Insight (pp. 365395). Cambridge MA: MIT Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dunbar, K. (1997). How scientists think: Online creativity and conceptual change in science. In T. B. Ward, S. M. Smith, & S. Vaid (Eds.) Conceptual Structures and Processes: Emergence, Discovery and Change (pp. 461493). APA Press. Washington DC.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dunbar, K. (2001). The analogical paradox: Why analogy is so easy in naturalistic settings, yet so difficult in the psychology laboratory. In D. Gentner, K. J. Holyoak, & B. N. Kokinov (Eds.). The Analogical Mind: Perspectives from Cognitive Science (pp. 313334). Cambridge, MA: MIT press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dunbar, K. & Blanchette, I. (2001). The invivo/invitro approach to cognition: the case of analogy. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 5, 334339.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Forbus, K., Gentner, D., & Law, K. (1994). mac/fac: A model of similarity-based retrieval. Cognitive Science, 19, 141205.

  • Gentner, D. (1983). Structure-mapping: A theoretical framework for analogy. Cognitive Science, 7, 155170.

  • Gentner, D. (1989). Mechanisms of analogical learning. In S. Vosniadou and A. Ortony (Eds.), Similarity and analogical reasoning (pp. 199241). London: Cambridge University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gentner, D., & Markman, A. B. (1997). Structure-mapping in analogy and similarity. American Psychologist, 52: 4556.

  • Gentner, D., Rattermann, M. J. & Forbus, K. D. (1993). The role of similarity in transfer: Separating retrievability from inferential soundness. Cognitive Psychology, 25, 524575.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gentner, D., & Toupin, C. (1986). Systematicity and surface similarity in the development of analogy. Cognitive Science, 10, 277300.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gick, M. L., & Holyoak, K. J. (1980). Analogical problem solving. Cognitive Psychology, 12, 306355.

  • Goswami, U. (1996). Analogical reasoning and cognitive development. In: H. Reese (Ed.). Advances in Child Development and Behavior (pp. 92135). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Halford, G. S. (1993). Children’s Understanding: The Development of Mental Models. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

  • Hammond, K. J., Seifert, C. M., & Gray, K. C. (1991). Functionality in analogical transfer: A hard match is good to find. Journal of Learning Sciences, 1, 111152.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Holyoak, K. J. (2005). Analogy. In K. J. Holyoak & R. G. Morrison (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Thinking and Reasoning (pp. 117142). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Holyoak, K. J., & Koh, K. (1987). Surface and structural similarity in analogical transfer. Memory & Cognition, 15, 332340.

  • Keane, M. T. (1987). On retrieving analogues when solving problems. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 39A, 2941.

  • Keane, M. T., Ledgeway, T., & Duff, S. (1994). Constraints on analogical mapping: A comparison of three models, Cognitive Science, 18, 387438.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Klahr, D., & Chen, Z. (2011). Finding one’s place in transfer space. Child Development Perspectives, 5, 196204.

  • Lave, J. (1988). Cognition in Practice: Mind, Mathematics, and Culture in Everyday Life. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Loewenstein, J., Thompson, L., & Gentner, D. (1999). Analogical encoding facilitates knowledge transfer in negotiation. Psychological Bulletin Review, 6, 586597.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Moscovitch, M., Rosenbaum, R. S., Gilboa, A., Addis, D. R., Westmacott, R., Grady, C., Nadel, L. (2005). Functional neuroanatomy of remote episodic, semantic, and spatial memory: a unified account based on multiple trace theory. Journal of Anatomy, 207, 3566.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nisbett, R. E., Peng, K., Choi, I., & Norenzayan, A. (2001). Culture and systems of thought: Holistic vs. analytic cognition. Psychological Review, 108, 291310.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Novick, L. R. (1988). Analogical transfer, problem similarity, and expertise. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 14, 510520.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Perkins, D. N., & Grotzer, T. A. (1997). Teaching intelligence. American Psychologist, 52, 11251133.

  • Read, S. J., & Cesa, L. (1991). This reminds me of the time when…: Expectation failures in reminding and explanation. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 27, 125.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Reeves, L.M., & Weisberg, R. W. (1994). The role of content and abstract information in analogical transfer. Psychological Bulletin, 115, 381400.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rogoff, B. (2003). The Cultural Nature of Human Development. New York: Oxford University Press.

  • Ross, B. H. (1984). Reminding and their effects in learning a cognitive skill. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 16, 371416.

  • Ross, B. H. (1989). Distinguishing types of superficial similarities: Different effects on the access and use of earlier problems. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 15, 456468.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Siegler, R. S. (2000). The rebirth of children’s learning. Child Development, 71, 2635.

  • Singley, M. K., & Anderson, J. R. (1989). Transfer of Cognitive Skill. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

  • Thorndike, E. L., & Woodworth, R. S. (1901). The influence of improvement in one mental function upon the efficacy of other functions. Psychological Review, 8, 247261.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tomasello, M. (2001). Perceiving intention and learning words in the second year of life. In: M. Bowerman, & S. C. Levinson (Eds.). Language Development and Conceptual Development (pp. 132158). New York: Cambridge University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Weisberg, R. W., DiCamillo, M., & Phillips, D. (1978). Transferring old associations to new problems: A nonautomatic process. Journal of Verbal Learning & Verbal Behavior, 17, 219228.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wharton, C. M., Holyoak, K. J., Downing, P. E., Lange, T. E., Wickens, T. D., & Melz, E. R. (1994). Below the surface: Analogical similarity and retrieval competition in reminding. Cognitive Psychology, 26, 64101.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wharton, C. M., Holyoak, K. J., & Lange, T. E. (1996). Remote analogical reminding. Memory & Cognition, 24, 629643.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 160 60 6
Full Text Views 229 6 1
PDF Downloads 16 4 1