How Does Anxiety Influence Analogical Mapping?

Abstract

This paper presents an experimental study of the influence that the anxiety state may have on analogical mapping. Contrary to the well-known study of Tohill & Holyoak (2000), where the anxiety state impeded the analogical mapping, in this study participants in the anxiety state were significantly more inclined to produce a relational choice which is structurally consistent with the target, even though this alternative was more superficially dissimilar to the target. This result was obtained in a match-to-sample paradigm. The implications for the theory of how anxiety influences analogy-making are discussed and it is argued in favor of a more detailed and specific approach to studying the influence of anxiety on each component mechanism of analogy-making.


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