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Young children's analogical problem solving: gaining insights from video displays.

journal contribution
posted on 01.12.2013, 00:00 by Zhe Chen, Robert SieglerRobert Siegler

This study examined how toddlers gain insights from source video displays and use the insights to solve analogous problems. The sample of 2- and 2.5-year-olds viewed a source video illustrating a problem-solving strategy and then attempted to solve analogous problems. Older, but not younger, toddlers extracted the problem-solving strategy depicted in the video and spontaneously transferred the strategy to solve isomorphic problems. Transfer by analogy from the video was evident only when the video illustrated the complete problem goal structure, including the character's intention and the action needed to achieve a goal. The same action isolated from the problem-solving context did not serve as an effective source analogue. These results illuminate the development of early representation and processes involved in analogical problem solving. Theoretical and educational implications are discussed.