Analogy is an important cognitive process that has been researched extensively. Functional accounts of it typically involve at least four stages of processing (access, mapping, transfer, and evaluation); however, these accounts take the way in which the base analogue is understood, along with its relational structure, for granted. The goal of this paper is to open up a discussion about how this process (which we will call “relational recognition”) may occur. To this end, this paper describes two experiments that vary the level of relational complexity across exemplars. It was found that relational recognition tasks benefit from increased complexity, while mapping tasks suffer from it.
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