Development of analogical reasoning in 4- and 5-year-old children

Patricia A. Alexander, Victor L. Willson, C. Stephen White, J. Diane Fuqua, Gregory D. Clark, Alice F. Wilson, Jonna M. Kulikowich

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34 Scopus citations


This study assessed the development of analogical reasoning of 4- and 5-year-olds. Subjects were 60 preschoolers, ages 48 months to 71 months. Performance of geometric analogy problems was measured at monthly intervals with the Test of Analogical Reasoning in Children. Results indicated that the children were generally stable in their reasoning performance. There was a significant linear upward trend in performance for less proficient, nontrained reasoners, but post hoc analysis indicated a significant difference only between the first testing and all other testings. Generally, less proficient reasoners used a naive, nonanalogical strategy in completing the geometric analogy problems. Explicit training of the less proficient reasoners had a significant, positive effect on performance that was maintained for several months. Finally, it was determined that the nontrained children who became more proficient in analogical reasoning were significantly older than those who did not.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-88
Number of pages24
JournalCognitive Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1989

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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