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Analogy as a strategy for supporting complex problem solving under uncertainty

Chan, J and Paletz, SBF and Schunn, CD (2012) Analogy as a strategy for supporting complex problem solving under uncertainty. Memory and Cognition, 40 (8). 1352 - 1365. ISSN 0090-502X

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Abstract

Complex problem solving in naturalistic environments is fraught with uncertainty, which has significant impacts on problem-solving behavior. Thus, theories of human problem solving should include accounts of the cognitive strategies people bring to bear to deal with uncertainty during problem solving. In this article, we present evidence that analogy is one such strategy. Using statistical analyses of the temporal dynamics between analogy and expressed uncertainty in the naturalistic problem-solving conversations among scientists on the Mars Rover Mission, we show that spikes in expressed uncertainty reliably predict analogy use (Study 1) and that expressed uncertainty reduces to baseline levels following analogy use (Study 2). In addition, in Study 3, we show with qualitative analyses that this relationship between uncertainty and analogy is not due to miscommunication-related uncertainty but, rather, is primarily concentrated on substantive problem-solving issues. Finally, we discuss a hypothesis about how analogy might serve as an uncertainty reduction strategy in naturalistic complex problem solving. © 2012 Psychonomic Society, Inc.


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Details

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Creators/Authors:
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Chan, J
Paletz, SBF
Schunn, CDschunn@pitt.eduSCHUNN0000-0003-3589-297X
Centers: Other Centers, Institutes, or Units > Learning Research & Development Center
Date: 1 November 2012
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Memory and Cognition
Volume: 40
Number: 8
Page Range: 1352 - 1365
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.3758/s13421-012-0227-z
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0090-502X
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2014 17:04
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2019 15:56
URI: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/id/eprint/22956

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