Re-representation in comparison and similarity

Abstract

Re-representation is a crucial component of structure mapping theory, allowing individuals to notice structural commonalities between situations that do not initially have identical relational representations. Despite its theoretical importance, however, this concept has been the subject of very little empirical work. In two experiments, we find that a case’s participation in one comparison systematically changes its perceived similarity to new cases, in a pattern consistent with re-representation. Additional work rules out alternative explanations based on relational priming.


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