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Book Chapter

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The SAGE Encyclopedia Of Lifespan Human Development


Analogical reasoning is the ability to perceive and use relational commonality between two situations. Most commonly, analogy involves mapping relational structures from a familiar (base situation to an unfamiliar situation (target). For example, solving the analogy “chicken is to chick like tiger is to___?” requires perceiving the relation parent–offspring in the base domain (chicken:chick) and mapping the same relation to the target (tiger:__?) to get to the answer cub. Relational similarity is the crux of analogical reasoning; what is crucial here is the sameness of the relation, not of other similarities—chickens and tigers do not look alike.


cats, children, language development, learners, maps, mice, Raven's Progressive Matrices

Published By



M. H. Bornstein


This work was originally published in The SAGE Encyclopedia of Lifespan Human Development and is freely available courtesy of SAGE Publishing. Redistributing, reselling, or any repurposing of this content is not allowed. SAGE material is not to be used for commercial MOOCs or any other commercial purposes without permission. Please contact for any further usage or questions.

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