The Effects of Alignability on Memory

Markman, A. B. and Gentner, D. (1997) The Effects of Alignability on Memory. [Journal (Paginated)]

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According to structure-mapping theory, the process of comparison is one of alignment and mapping between representational structures. This process induces a focus on commonalities and alignable differences (i.e., those related to the commonalities). Nonalignable differences (i.e., those not related to the commonalities) are held to be neglected. The theory thus predicts increased focus on the corresponding information, whether these are commonalities or differences. In this paper, we explore the implications of this claim for memory: Specifically, we test the prediction that alignable differences are more likely to be processed and stored than nonalignable differences. We present a study in which people made similarity comparisons between pairs of pictures and then were probed for recall. The recall probes were figures taken from the pictures and were either alignable differences between the pairs or nonalignable differences. The alignable differences were better memory probes than the nonalignable differences, suggesting that people were more likely to encode and store the corresponding information than the noncorresponding information.

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Subjects:Psychology > Cognitive Psychology
ID Code:680
Deposited By: Markman, Arthur B.
Deposited On:09 Jun 1998
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:54


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