Role of Analogical Reasoning in the Induction of Problem Categories

The purpose of the work reported here was to investigate the role of problem comparison and, specifically, analogical comparison in the induction of problem categories. This work was motivated by two factors. First, it is well-documented that experts and novices represent problems in very different ways and that solution success often depends on producing expert-like problem representations (DeGroot, 1965; Duncker, 1945; Chi, Feltovich, & Glaser, 1981; Hardiman, Dufresne, & Mestre, 1989; Novick, 1988; Schoenfeld & Herrmann, 1982; Silver, 1979, 1981). Second, the problem representations produced by experts and novices appear to reflect differences in the way the two groups organize their knowledge bases. Although both groups appear to represent their problem-solving knowledge in terms of problem classes, or categories, expert categories tend to be defined in terms of deep structural features, whereas novice categories tend to be defined in terms of surface features (Adelson, 1981; Chase & Simon, 1973; Chi et al., 1981; Schoenfeld &. Herrmann, 1982; Silver, 1979, 1981). Because of this differential organization, experts are more likely than novices to retrieve solution-relevant information from their categories when constructing problem representations.
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