Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Short Communication

Instantiated rules and abstract analogy: Not a continuum of similarity

Lee R. Brooks a1 and Samuel D. Hannah a1
a1 Department of Psychology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 4K1, Canada [email protected] [email protected]


We agree that treating rules and similarity as dichotomous opposites is unproductive. However, describing all categorization operations as a continuum of varied similarity process obscures a multidimensional contrast. We describe two processes, instantiated rules and abstract analogy, both of which have aspects of rules and similarity, and question whether they can be compared informatively as points on a continuum.