An analogy means the bringing together or drawing parallels between two or more different elements, ideas or words. Analogical thinking is a way of thinking that brings insights by bringing together ideas that are at first seem to be quite different from one another, but are made to relate in some manner. Most people engage in analogical thinking without realizing that they have been engaged in such a thinking process. Hence, it is important to engage in analogical thinking consciously, by knowing what it is and how important it is to be more creative, innovative and productive.
Understanding this process can make one to actively use it in different areas of thinking and working can make one to be more innovative and creative, more clear in thinking and expressing oneself verbally and in writing and illustrations, and to think deeply and creatively.
Professor John Clement of the University of Massachusetts in U.S.A.(pictured here) has done many researches in the use of Analogical thinking. He has stated that: “a key element in the mind of an inventor is the ability to generate analogies both within and across disciplinary boundaries.”According to Clement, an interesting characteristic in analogous reasoning lies in the paradox that by seeming to move away from a problem, the subject can come close to a solution. He states that this is because human beings appear to be constrained to build up new knowledge by starting from old knowledge. Moving closer to the answer by moving away from the problem via an analogy can work because one is moving to a more familiar area one knows more about, and one may then be able to transfer part of this knowledge to the original problem.”
Jagath Gunawardana Attorney-at-law