Similarity involving attributes and relations: Judgments of similarity and difference are not inverses

Douglas L. Medin*, Robert L. Goldstone, Dedre Gentner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

121 Scopus citations

Abstract

Conventional wisdom and previous research suggest that similarity judgments and difference judgments are inverses of one another. An exception to this rule arises when both relational similarity and attributional similarity are considered. When presented with choices that are relationally or attributionally similar to a standard, human subjects tend to pick the relationally similar choice as more similar to the standard and as more different from the standard. These results not only reinforce the general distinction between attributes and relations but also show that attributes and relations are dynamically distinct in the processes that give rise to similarity and difference judgments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-69
Number of pages6
JournalPsychological Science
Volume1
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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