Children's use of analogy during collaborative reasoning.
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This microgenetic study examined social influences on children's development of analogical reasoning during peer-led small-group discussions of stories about controversial issues. A total of 277 analogies were identified among 7,215 child turns for speaking during 54 discussions from 18 discussion groups in 6 fourth-grade classrooms (N = 120; age M=10.0, SD=0.6). Use of analogy was found to spread among the children in discussion groups and occur at an accelerating rate, primarily because of the increasing use of novel analogies. Relational analogies with shared surface features triggered purely relational analogies during the next 2 speaking turns, showing a trend of relational shift. These results provide distinctive new evidence for the importance of social interaction in an aspect of cognitive development.