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Priming, analogy, and awareness in complex reasoning

Schunn, CD and Dunbar, K (1996) Priming, analogy, and awareness in complex reasoning. Memory and Cognition, 24 (3). 271 - 284. ISSN 0090-502X

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The mechanisms by which a concept used in solving one complex task can influence performance on another complex task were investigated. We tested the hypothesis that even when subjects do not spontaneously make an analogy between two domains, knowledge of one domain can still spontaneously influence reasoning about the other domain via the mechanism of priming. Four groups of subjects (two experimental and two control) were given a simulated biochemistry problem on Day 1 and a simulated molecular genetics problem on Day 2. For the two experimental groups, the solution to the biochemistry problem involved inhibition. For the two control groups, the solution did not involve inhibition. On Day 2, all subjects received the same version of the molecular genetics problem in which the solution involved the concept of inhibition. Subjects in the experimental conditions were more likely to attain the correct answer, to propose inhibition, and to propose inhibition early in the problem-solving session than were subjects in the control conditions. However, subjects in the experimental conditions made no reference to the biochemistry problem either in their verbal protocols or in a post-task questionnaire. The results are interpreted as demonstrating that an implicit process-printing-can make old knowledge available for current problem solving.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Schunn, CDschunn@pitt.eduSCHUNN0000-0003-3589-297X
Dunbar, K
Centers: Other Centers, Institutes, Offices, or Units > Magee-Women's Research Institute
Date: 1 January 1996
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Memory and Cognition
Volume: 24
Number: 3
Page Range: 271 - 284
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.3758/bf03213292
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0090-502X
MeSH Headings: Awareness; Humans; Problem Solving; Task Performance and Analysis
PubMed ID: 8718762
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2014 16:29
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2019 15:56


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