Role of Analogies

Characteristics of intelligent persons include greater preference for, more attention to, and highly developed abilities for dealing with novelty; an ability to process information rapidly; an ability to ignore irrelevant information; and an ability to solve problems accurately. Problem-solving ability in intelligence may be observed in a person's ability to complete many tasks successfully. Among these tasks would be a person's ability to solve analogies.

Analogies are statements of a relationship between words, concepts, or situations. Problem solving by analogy occurs when students attempt to use the conditions and solution to one problem to assist them in understanding the conditions and solutions of another problem. Put another way, students use the relationships they see in one context or situation to assist them in understanding relationships in another context or situation. Many educators believe that solving analogies helps students to concretize their thinking, gauge how they understand information, tap and develop a facility for visual thinking, exercise and nurture creative and critical thinking, clarify and or ganize unfamiliar subject matter, and synthesize instructional material. Past research has pointed to an ability to solve analogies as one of the best predictors of intellectual ability.

Intelligence has also been studied by examining the way in which students who have been identified as gifted (based on high intelligence test scores) solve problems. It was found that highly intelligent people are better able to separate relevant and irrelevant information.

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