Accessing Distant Analogs Over Superficial Matches: ¿How Efficient is the Architecture of our Retrieval Systems?

AbstractTraditional results using a cued-recall paradigm have allegedly demonstrated that distant analogs tend to be retrieved less often than disanalogous matches maintaining only surface similarity. Recent results, however, suggest that said advantage may be due to the inadvertent inclusion of structural similarity in surface matches. In two experiments we had distant analogs compete in LTM with two types of surface matches lacking any degree of structural overlap, but equated with the target in terms of element similarities. Distant analogs were less retrieved that stories maintaining similar first-order relations and objects with the target, but no overlapping structure. This difference disappeared when surface similarity involved only similar objects. Results show that the surface superiority effect relies on the type of surface matches that compete with distant analogs, thus suggesting a more complex picture of the forces that govern access to similar items in memory.

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