1. Language Helps Children Succeed on a Classic Analogy Task.Stella Christie & Dedre Gentner - 2014 - Cognitive Science 38 (2):383-397.
    Adult humans show exceptional relational ability relative to other species. In this research, we trace the development of this ability in young children. We used a task widely used in comparative research—the relational match-to-sample task, which requires participants to notice and match the identity relation: for example, AA should match BB instead of CD. Despite the simplicity of this relation, children under 4 years of age failed to pass this test (Experiment 1), and their performance did not improve even with (...)
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    Relational language supports relational cognition in humans and apes.Dedre Gentner & Stella Christie - 2008 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 31 (2):136-137.
    We agree with Penn et al. that our human cognitive superiority derives from our exceptional relational ability. We far exceed other species in our ability to grasp analogies and to combine relations into higher-order structures (Gentner 2003). However, we argue here that possession of an elaborated symbol system is necessary to make our relational capacity operational.
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    Structure Mapping for Social Learning.Stella Christie - 2017 - Topics in Cognitive Science 9 (3):758-775.
    Analogical reasoning is a foundational tool for human learning, allowing learners to recognize relational structures in new events and domains. Here I sketch some grounds for understanding and applying analogical reasoning in social learning. The social world is fundamentally characterized by relations between people, with common relational structures—such as kinships and social hierarchies—forming social units that dictate social behaviors. Just as young learners use analogical reasoning for learning relational structures in other domains—spatial relations, verbs, relational categories—analogical reasoning ought to be (...)
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