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Is case-based reasoning a source of knowledge generalisation?

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This study examines the link between case-based reasoning and knowledge generalisation. Experiment 1 showed that case-based reasoning is not in itself a source of generalisation. In this experiment, subjects were able to adapt knowledge acquired during analysis of an example in order to successfully solve a very similar problem. But immediately afterwards, they failed on a problem symmetrical to the one they had just solved. Experiments 2A and 2B showed, in this same situation, that it is possible to lead subjects to generalise simply by stating that the practice problems were similar to the examples. These findings suggest that knowledge generalisation accompanying case-based reasoning is the result of a process that must be actively implemented by the subject, and not an automatic outcome of the source-to-target transfer.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Laboratoire de Psychologie Cognitivé, Université de Provence-CNRS, Aix-en-Provence, France

Publication date: January 1, 2003


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