Analogical Encoding Facilitates Knowledge Transfer in Negotiation, Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Information learned in academic settings has a distressing tendency to be left behind in the classroom. Learning in one situation often fails to transfer to a similarly structured situation (e.g., Gentner, Rattermann, & Forbus, 1993; Gick & Holyoak, 1980). However, comparing two or more instances that embody the same principle promotes abstraction of a schema that can be transferred to new situations. In two lines of research, we examined analogical encoding on knowledge transfer in negotiation situations. In Experiment 1, undergraduates were more likely to propose optimal negotiation strategies, and less likely to propose compromises (a sub-optimal strategy), when they received analogy training. In Experiment 2, business school students who drew an analogy from two cases were nearly three times more likely to incorporate the strategy in the training cases into their negotiations than students given the same cases separately. For novices and experienced participants, the comparison process can be an efficient means of abstracting principles for later application.
Jeffrey Loewenstein, Leigh Thompson, Dedre Gentner
Loewenstein, Jeffrey, Leigh Thompson, and Dedre Gentner. 1999. Analogical Encoding Facilitates Knowledge Transfer in Negotiation. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. 6(4): 586-597.