2.50
Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/11290/607922
Title:
Does analogy enhance comprehension of scientific concepts?
Authors:
Donnelly, Carol M.
Abstract:
This dissertation examined how useful analogies are for teaching scientific concepts in astronomy and biology, relative to expressing those same concepts in a traditional literal form. This comparison — analogical versus literal expression — was made in the context of variations in (1) how explicitly the idea of a scientific analogy was explained to subjects, (2) how much cognitive effort subjects were required to expend during learning, and (3) the format of the learning material (i.e., verbal statements either accompanied or unaccompanied by pictures). The highest level of learning, as measured both by performance on a multiple-choice test and by delayed cued recall of statements, obtained for those subjects who received three components simultaneously: the scientific analogies, an explanation of analogy, and a depiction of verbal statements in accompanying pictures (Experiment 1). The multiple-choice questions were directed toward either basic, detail-level knowledge or abstract, inference-level knowledge. Subjects scored higher on basic-level than inference-level questions, but this difference was significantly greater for concepts expressed literally than for those expressed analogically; this finding suggests that analogies foster inference-level thinking. Subjects' performance was hindered when they were required to generate the familiar domain of the analogy, either through drawing (Experiment 4) or writing (Experiment 2). But subjects displayed remarkable comprehension of concepts when they were required to map the familiar domain onto the unfamiliar domain (Experiment 6); here the difference between basic-level and inference-level knowledge evaporated completely. Males typically outperformed females on all measures; this effect appeared to be based on the males1 greater background education in the physical sciences. Little relationship was found between imagery ability and learning. The results of this dissertation are interpreted within a new framework of analogical learning.
Affiliation:
New School for Social Research
Issue Date:
1990
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/11290/607922
Submitted date:
2015-09-29
Document Source:
Dissertation/Thesis
Language:
English Paper
Type Of Resource:
Empirical Research
Empirical Methodology:
Quantitative
Learning Environment:
Formal
Subjects:
College Students
Construct:
Cognitive Processes
Specific Interests:
Gender & Sex
Nation:
USA
Appears in Collections:
Astronomy Education Research

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorDonnelly, Carol M.en
dc.date.accessioned2016-05-04T08:57:58Zen
dc.date.available2016-05-04T08:57:58Zen
dc.date.issued1990en
dc.date.submitted2015-09-29en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/11290/607922en
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation examined how useful analogies are for teaching scientific concepts in astronomy and biology, relative to expressing those same concepts in a traditional literal form. This comparison — analogical versus literal expression — was made in the context of variations in (1) how explicitly the idea of a scientific analogy was explained to subjects, (2) how much cognitive effort subjects were required to expend during learning, and (3) the format of the learning material (i.e., verbal statements either accompanied or unaccompanied by pictures). The highest level of learning, as measured both by performance on a multiple-choice test and by delayed cued recall of statements, obtained for those subjects who received three components simultaneously: the scientific analogies, an explanation of analogy, and a depiction of verbal statements in accompanying pictures (Experiment 1). The multiple-choice questions were directed toward either basic, detail-level knowledge or abstract, inference-level knowledge. Subjects scored higher on basic-level than inference-level questions, but this difference was significantly greater for concepts expressed literally than for those expressed analogically; this finding suggests that analogies foster inference-level thinking. Subjects' performance was hindered when they were required to generate the familiar domain of the analogy, either through drawing (Experiment 4) or writing (Experiment 2). But subjects displayed remarkable comprehension of concepts when they were required to map the familiar domain onto the unfamiliar domain (Experiment 6); here the difference between basic-level and inference-level knowledge evaporated completely. Males typically outperformed females on all measures; this effect appeared to be based on the males1 greater background education in the physical sciences. Little relationship was found between imagery ability and learning. The results of this dissertation are interpreted within a new framework of analogical learning.en
dc.description.provenanceMade available in DSpace on 2016-05-04T08:57:58Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 1af2bd3e-bd02-42bf-b68e-9f6c243bb597.pdf: 16643313 bytes, checksum: 739773e7c7bc2ea2dfc73f1f4a065919 (MD5) Previous issue date: 1990en
dc.language.isoEnglish Paperen
dc.titleDoes analogy enhance comprehension of scientific concepts?en
dc.typeDissertation/Thesisen
dc.contributor.departmentNew School for Social Researchen
dc.type.resourceEmpirical Researchen
dc.istar.learningenvironmentFormalen
dc.istar.constructCognitive Processesen
dc.istar.specificinterestsGender & Sexen
dc.istar.nationUSAen
dc.istar.empiricalmethodologyQuantitativeen
dc.istar.subjectCollege Studentsen
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