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Analogical Matrices in Young Children and Students with Intellectual Disability: Reasoning by Analogy or Reasoning by Association?

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Background  Analogical reasoning (AR) is renowned for being a complex activity. Young children tend to reason by association, rather by analogy, and people with intellectual disability present problems of memorization. Both these populations usually show low performances in AR. The present author investigated whether familiar material and external memories could enable them to obtain better performances.

Material  Our computerized AR test uses a touch screen. The 2 × 2 matrices are composed of familiar pictures and relations, and declined in two versions. The classic version requires memorizing all the relations involved in order to discover the solution, whereas the construction version requires constructing the answer part by part by using external memories, which potentially unload the memory.

Results  Our results showed that people with intellectual disability reached lower performances than typically developing children in the classic version, but similar performances in the construction version. In addition, both these populations reasoned mostly by analogy and not by association.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland

Publication date: May 1, 2012

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