Effects of an analogical reasoning touch screen computer test in individuals with disabilities

Caroline Denaes


Analogical reasoning involves the comparison of pictures as well as the memorisation of relations. Young children (4-7 years old) and students with moderate intellectual disability have a short memory span, which hamper them to succeed in traditional analogical tests. In the present study, we investigated if, by providing external memory hints, the visual aid could enable these participants to succeed in analogies comprising more relations than their memory span was able to manage. Our analogical test, composed of 2×2 matrices, was administered in two versions: The classic version, similar to traditional tests, required the participant to memorise all the relations involved in order to discover the solution, whereas the construction version required him/her to construct the answer part by part by using external memories, which potentially increased success by offloading the memory.

Our results show that students with moderate intellectual disability reached results similar to typically developing control children when provided with external memory hints (referred to as external memories). Moreover, in the most complex levels of the test, they did not spend more time than control children for solving the analogies.

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