What is it about?

Analogical reasoning is a fundamentally important cognitive skill. As the terms in an analogy get more distant, they get harder to map for most people. In this study, we show that professional actors are capable of creatively solving even very distant analogies by creatively connecting ideas functionally, visually, temporally, or symbolically. Even when analogies were written to be non-valid, the actors were often capable of connecting them in a creative way.

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Why is it important?

This study illustrates one of the amazing tendencies of highly creative people: to connect ideas that most people might think are unconnected.


This study was really a pleasure to run, especially working with Michael Doherty was an immense treat. Mike is an actor himself, and his psychological insights into this population were invaluable.

Denis Dumas
University of Georgia

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: To map or not to map: Professional actors are capable of validly connecting extremely distant verbal analogues., Psychology of Aesthetics Creativity and the Arts, December 2022, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/aca0000502.
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