Keith J Holyoak

Keith J Holyoak
University of California, Los Angeles | UCLA · Department of Psychology

PhD

About

305
Publications
95,368
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31,852
Citations
Additional affiliations
July 1986 - present
University of California, Los Angeles
Position
  • Distinguished Professor of Psychology

Publications

Publications (305)
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A key property of human cognition is its ability to generate novel predictions about unfamiliar situations by completing a partially-specified relation or an analogy. Here, we present a computational model capable of producing generative inferences from relations and analogs. This model, BART-Gen, operates on explicit representations of relations l...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Many computational models of reasoning rely on explicit relation representations to account for human cognitive capacities such as analogical reasoning. Relational luring, a phenomenon observed in recognition memory, has been interpreted as evidence that explicit relation representations also impact episodic memory; however, this assumption has not...
Article
Human reasoning goes beyond knowledge about individual entities, extending to inferences based on relations between entities. Here we focus on the use of relations in verbal analogical mapping, sketching a general approach based on assessing similarity between patterns of semantic relations between words. This approach combines research in artifici...
Article
Full-text available
We examined the relationship between metaphor comprehension and verbal analogical reasoning in young adults who were either typically developing (TD) or diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The ASD sample was highly educated and high in verbal ability, and closely matched to a subset of TD participants on age, gender, educational backgrou...
Article
The human ability to flexibly reason using analogies with domain-general content depends on mechanisms for identifying relations between concepts, and for mapping concepts and their relations across analogs. Building on a recent model of how semantic relations can be learned from nonrelational word embeddings, we present a new computational model o...
Article
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Despite widespread communication of the health risks associated with the COVID-19 virus, many Americans underestimated its risks and were antagonistic regarding preventative measures. Political partisanship has been linked to diverging attitudes towards the virus, but the cognitive processes underlying this divergence remain unclear. Bayesian model...
Article
Although models of word meanings based on distributional semantics have proved effective in predicting human judgments of similarity among individual concepts, it is less clear whether or how such models might be extended to account for judgments of similarity among relations between concepts. Here we combine an individual-differences approach with...
Preprint
Full-text available
After deciding among options, decision makers exhibit an increased positive evaluation of the chosen option coupled with a decreased evaluation for those rejected, resulting in a spreading of alternatives (SoA). There has been a longstanding debate as whether SoA results from post-choice dissonance reduction, or whether it plays an instrumental rol...
Preprint
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Is analogical reasoning a task that must be learned to solve from scratch by applying deep learning models to massive numbers of reasoning problems? Or are analogies solved by computing similarities between structured representations of analogs? We address this question by comparing human performance on visual analogies created using images of fami...
Preprint
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The QAnon conspiracy posits that Satan-worshiping Democrats operate a covert child sex-trafficking operation, which Donald Trump is destined to expose and annihilate. Emblematic of the ease with which political misconceptions can spread through social media, QAnon originated in late 2017 and rapidly grew to shape the political beliefs of millions....
Article
Analogy is a powerful tool for fostering conceptual understanding and transfer in STEM and other fields. Well‐constructed analogical comparisons focus attention on the causal‐relational structure of STEM concepts, and provide a powerful capability to draw inferences based on a well‐understood source domain that can be applied to a novel target doma...
Preprint
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The human ability to flexibly reason with cross-domain analogies depends on mechanisms for identifying relations between concepts and for mapping concepts and their relations across analogs. We present a new computational model of analogical mapping, based on semantic relation networks constructed from distributed representations of individual conc...
Article
We review recent theoretical and empirical work on the emergence of relational reasoning, drawing connections among the fields of comparative psychology, developmental psychology, cognitive neuroscience, cognitive science, and machine learning. Relational learning appears to involve multiple systems: a suite of Early Systems that are available to h...
Article
As naturally occurring examples of folk culture and creativity, internet memes provide a rich testbed to examine the interrelationships among cognitive and motivational factors that influence their impact. In two studies with participants recruited over the internet, we measured a variety of appraisals of both apolitical and political memes with a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
People's beliefs and attitudes about social and scientific issues, such as capital punishment and climate change, appear to form complex but generally coherent networks. Understanding the nature of these networks is a prerequisite for designing interventions for changing beliefs on the basis of rational arguments and evidence. It is therefore impor...
Preprint
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Image-based social media is experiencing a significant increase in popularity among adolescents and young adults (Pew Research Center, 2018). On Instagram, Health Influencers share magazine-ready images that communicate health and wellness to millions of followers. These images have been criticized by academics and the public alike as self-promotio...
Article
We report a study examining the role of linguistic context in modulating the influences of individual differences in fluid and crystalized intelligence on comprehension of literary metaphors. Three conditions were compared: no context, metaphor-congruent context, and literal-congruent context. Relative to the baseline no-context condition, the meta...
Article
Impairments related to figurative language understanding have been considered to be one of the diagnostic and defining features of autism. Metaphor comprehension and production in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as compared to typically developing (TD) individuals have been investigated for around thirty years, generally showing an overall advantage...
Preprint
Full-text available
In five experiments, people repeatedly judged individual options with respect to both overall value and attribute values. When required to choose between two snacks, each differing in two attributes (pleasure and nutrition), people’s assessments of value shifted from pre- to post-choice in the direction that spread the alternatives further apart so...
Article
Relational integration is required when multiple explicit representations of relations between entities must be jointly considered to make inferences. We provide an overview of the neural substrate of relational integration in humans and the processes that support it, focusing on work on analogical and deductive reasoning. In addition to neural evi...
Article
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The ability to generate and process semantic relations is central to many aspects of human cognition. Theorists have long debated whether such relations are coarsely coded as links in a semantic network or finely coded as distributed patterns over some core set of abstract relations. The form and content of the conceptual and neural representations...
Article
Cushman characterizes rationalization as the inverse of rational reasoning, but this distinction is psychologically questionable. Coherence-based reasoning highlights a subtler form of bidirectionality: By distorting task attributes to make one course of action appear superior to its rivals, a patina of rationality is bestowed on the choice. This m...
Article
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Analogical reasoning is an active topic of investigation across education, artificial intelligence (AI), cognitive psychology, and related fields. In all fields of inquiry, explicit analogy problems provide useful tools for investigating the mechanisms underlying analogical reasoning. Such sets have been developed by researchers working in the fiel...
Chapter
Analogical reasoning—the ability to find and exploit similarities based on relations among entities, rather than solely on the entities themselves—is a key mechanism underlying human intelligence and creativity (Gentner, 2010; Halford, Wilson & Phillips, 2010; Holyoak, 2012). Among the species currently extant, the ability to formulate explicit rel...
Article
May's careful examination of empirical evidence makes a compelling case against the primacy of emotion in driving moral judgments. At the same time, emotion certainly is involved in moral judgments. We argue that emotion interacts with beliefs, values, and moral principles through a process of coherence-based reasoning (operating at least partially...
Article
We created practical moral dilemmas for which participants imagined witnessing a transgression by a target person. The identity of the transgressor was manipulated to be either a stranger or the participant's brother. In Experiment 1, whether the target person committed a violation was left ambiguous. Participants made factual (how strongly they be...
Article
Various forms of relational processing have been linked to cognitive capacity measures, such as working memory and fluid intelligence. However, previous work has not established the extent to which different forms of relational processing reflect common factors, nor whether individual differences in cognitive style also contribute to variations in...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The ability to recognize and make inductive inferences based on relational similarity is fundamental to much of human higher cognition. However, relational similarity is not easily defined or measured, which makes it difficult to determine whether individual differences in cognitive capacity or semantic knowledge impact relational processing. In tw...
Article
The nature of the mental processes involved in metaphor comprehension has been the focus of debate, with controversy focusing on the relative role of general analogical reasoning versus language-specific conceptual combination. In the present set of studies, we take an individual-differences approach to examine the comprehension of a variety of met...
Preprint
Full-text available
The ability to generate and process semantic relations is central to many aspects of human cognition. Theorists have long debated whether such relations are coded as atomistic links in a semantic network, or as distributed patterns over some core set of abstract relations. The form and content of the conceptual and neural representations of semanti...
Article
Full-text available
By middle childhood, humans are able to learn abstract semantic relations (e.g., antonym, synonym, category membership) and use them to reason by analogy. A deep theoretical challenge is to show how such abstract relations can arise from nonrelational inputs, thereby providing key elements of a protosymbolic representation system. We have developed...
Article
Solutions to word problems are moderated by the semantic alignment of real-world relations with mathematical operations. Categorical relations between entities (tulips, roses) are aligned with addition, whereas certain functional relations between entities (tulips, vases) are aligned with division. Similarly, discreteness vs. continuity of quantiti...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The nature of the mental processes involved in metaphor comprehension has been the focus of debate. Research related to this debate has mainly examined the comprehension of simple nominal metaphors. Here we take an individual-differences approach to examine the comprehension of slightly more complex metaphors, some taken from literary sources, usin...
Article
We review psychological research bearing on major theories of metaphor comprehension. A broad survey of behavioral studies is coupled with findings from recent meta-analyses of neuroimaging studies of metaphor processing. We identify three broad theoretical positions that have been the foci of research efforts: analogy, categorization, and conceptu...
Article
The present study examined whether a dissociation among formats for rational numbers (fractions, decimals, and percentages) can be obtained in tasks that require comparing a number to a non-symbolic quantity (discrete or else continuous). In Experiment 1, college students saw a discrete or else continuous image followed by a rational number, and ha...
Article
Social learning-the ability to learn from observing the decisions of other people and the outcomes of those decisions-is fundamental to human evolutionary and cultural success. The Internet now provides social evidence on an unprecedented scale. However, properly utilizing this evidence requires a capacity for statistical inference. We examined how...
Article
Early research in the field of intuitive physics provided extensive evidence that humans succumb to common misconceptions and biases when predicting, judging, and explaining activity in the physical world. Recent work has demonstrated that, across a diverse range of situations, some biases can be explained by the application of normative physical p...
Article
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Recent research has begun to investigate the impact of different formats for rational numbers on the processes by which people make relational judgments about quantitative relations. DeWolf, Bassok, and Holyoak (Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 144(1), 127-150, 2015) found that accuracy on a relation identification task was highest when...
Article
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Why might it be (at least sometimes) beneficial for adults to process fractions componentially? Recent research has shown that college-educated adults can capitalize on the bipartite structure of the fraction notation, performing more successfully with fractions than with decimals in relational tasks, notably analogical reasoning. This study examin...
Article
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Research on analogical problem solving has shown that people often fail to spontaneously notice the relevance of a semantically remote source analog when solving a target problem, although they are able to form mappings and derive inferences when given a hint to recall the source. Relatively little work has investigated possible individual differen...
Article
Full-text available
A key property of relational representations is their generativity: From partial descriptions of relations between entities, additional inferences can be drawn about other entities. A major theoretical challenge is to demonstrate how the capacity to make generative inferences could arise as a result of learning relations from non-relational inputs....
Article
We review a broad range of work, primarily in cognitive and social psychology, that provides insight into the processes of moral judgment. In particular, we consider research on pragmatic reasoning about regulations and on coherence in decision making, both areas in which psychological theories have been guided by work in legal philosophy. Armed wi...
Article
Recent work has identified correlations between early mastery of fractions and later math achievement, especially in algebra. However, causal connections between aspects of reasoning with fractions and improved algebra performance have yet to be established. The current study investigated whether relational reasoning with fractions facilitates subs...
Article
Humans have developed multiple symbolic representations for numbers, including natural numbers (positive integers) as well as rational numbers (both fractions and decimals). Despite a considerable body of behavioral and neuroimaging research, it is currently unknown whether different notations map onto a single, fully abstract, magnitude code, or w...
Article
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Betsch et al. (1) argue that our intervention failed to affect “true” vaccine skeptics’ attitudes, and that the findings of our paper (2) actually support the use of an intervention aimed at dispelling myths linking measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccines and autism.
Article
Full-text available
Three times as many cases of measles were reported in the United States in 2014 as in 2013. The reemergence of measles has been linked to a dangerous trend: parents refusing vaccinations for their children. Efforts have been made to counter people's antivaccination attitudes by providing scientific evidence refuting vaccination myths, but these int...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Research on analogical problem solving has found that people often fail to spontaneously notice the relevance of a source analog when solving a target problem, although they are able to form mappings and derive inferences when given a hint to recall the source. To investigate the determinants of spontaneous analogical transfer, the present study sy...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Recent work has begun to investigate how structured relations can be learned from non-relational and distributed input representations. A difficult challenge is to capture the human ability to evaluate relations between items drawn from distinct categories (e.g., deciding whether a truck is larger than a horse), given that different features may be...
Article
Research on language processing has shown that the disruption of conceptual integration gives rise to specific patterns of event-related brain potentials (ERPs)-N400 and P600 effects. Here, we report similar ERP effects when adults performed cross-domain conceptual integration of analogous semantic and mathematical relations. In a problem-solving t...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Previous research on multiplicative reasoning has shown that for whole numbers, understanding of division is intimately linked to multiplication, as retrieval of division facts is often accomplished through reverse multiplication. We recently extended this research to rational numbers, and found that inverse multiplication problems can serve as pri...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Previous work has shown that adults in the United States selectively use fractions and decimals to model discrete and continuous entities, respectively. However, it is unclear whether this apparent semantic alignment between the format of rational numbers and quantitative ontology is specific to the American education system, the English language,...
Conference Paper
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Recent work has shown that undergraduates at a major public university demonstrate implicit understanding of inverse relations between multiplication problems with fractions, as evidenced by the fact that solving one problem facilitates solving its inverse. The present study investigated whether such implicit understanding of mathematical relations...
Article
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When people use mathematics to model real-life situations, their use of mathematical expressions is often mediated by semantic alignment (Bassok, Chase, & Martin, 1998): The entities in a problem situation evoke semantic relations (e.g., tulips and vases evoke the functionally asymmetric "contain" relation), which people align with analogous mathem...
Article
Full-text available
The standard number system includes several distinct types of notations, which differ conceptually and afford different procedures. Among notations for rational numbers, the bipartite format of fractions (a/b) enables them to represent 2-dimensional relations between sets of discrete (i.e., countable) elements (e.g., red marbles/all marbles). In co...
Article
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Analogical mapping highlights shared relations that link 2 situations, potentially at the expense of information that does not fit the dominant pattern of correspondences. To investigate whether analogical mapping can alter subsequent recognition memory for features of a source analog, we performed 2 experiments with 4-term proportional analogies (...
Article
Moral hypocrisy is typically viewed as an ethical accusation: Someone is applying different moral standards to essentially identical cases, dishonestly claiming that one action is acceptable while otherwise equivalent actions are not. We suggest that in some instances the apparent logical inconsistency stems from different evaluations of a weak arg...
Article
Full-text available
Humans and other primates are able to make relative magnitude comparisons, both with perceptual stimuli and with symbolic inputs that convey magnitude information. Although numerous models of magnitude comparison have been proposed, the basic question of how symbolic magnitudes (e.g., size or intelligence of animals) are derived and represented in...
Article
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Is it possible to induce a mind-set that will affect relational thinking in a subsequent reasoning task involving unrelated materials? We investigated whether evaluating the validity of verbal analogies (Experiment 1a) or generating solutions for them (Experiment 1b) could induce a relational mind-set that would transfer to an unrelated picture-map...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
When people use mathematics to model real-life situations, their modeling is often mediated by semantic alignment (Bassok, Chase, & Martin, 1998): The entities in a problem situation evoke semantic relations (e.g., tulips and vases evoke the functionally asymmetric " contain " relation), which people align with analogous mathematical relations (e.g...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Developmental research has focused on the challenges that fractions pose to students in comparison to whole numbers. Usually the issues are blamed on children's failure to properly understand the magnitude of the fractional number because of its bipartite notation. However, recent research has shown that college-educated adults can capitalize on th...
Article
Across two studies we investigated the relationship between moral relativism versus absolutism and moral behavior. In Experiment 1, we found that participants who read a relativist argument for tolerating female genital mutilation were more likely to cheat to win an incentivized raffle than participants who read an absolutist argument against femal...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Bayesian Analogy with Relational Transformations (BART) is a discriminative model that can learn comparative relations from non-relational inputs (Lu, Chen & Holyoak, 2012). Here we show that BART can be extended to solve inference problems that require generation (rather than classification) of relation instances. BART can use its generative capac...
Article
Full-text available
An important issue in understanding mathematical cognition involves the similarities and differences between the magnitude representations associated with various types of rational numbers. For single-digit integers, evidence indicates that magnitudes are represented as analog values on a mental number line, such that magnitude comparisons are made...