At present it is possible to observe how thinking skills have become more decisive and how knowledge is accumulating, producing daily and exceeding the memory capacity of the individual, which is why the development of some types of skills is essential to be able to apply knowledge and thoughts effectively. Despite this, it is almost impossible for the human being to be able to cover everything and for this reason skills are developed that include analogical reasoning or analogy .


What is an analogy?

An analogy is a type of relation of similarity that can base between two different things . It is a type of tool that is based on a certain characteristic of an element to observe it and determine that it is shared by something else.

  • Definition
  • features
  • What is it for
  • Types
  • Elements
  • How is it solved
  • False analogy
  • Analogy in philosophy
  • Analogy in psychology
  • Importance
  • Examples


Basically, we can define analogy as a kind of similarity relationship that can be established between two things that turn out to be different . Is a resource type then able to know the relationship is present between these two objects and in the process, the issuer has the ability to clarify what the relationship is but instead, he decides to opt for a different path the which consists of expressing another different case in which the same relationship occurs .



Among its most representative characteristics we find the following:

  • It is a type of comparison that is made between two things.
  • His reasoning can be presented by means of the formula that says that “A is to B as C is to D”.
  • With the analogy an attempt is made to generate a type of equality between the characteristics .
  • It is characterized by producing a type of parallelism of realities .
  • In order to make the comparison , a reference point must be used .
  • He uses inductive reasoning since he has the ability to play with probabilities.
  • It bases all its argumentative force on the knowledge of the elements and on their incidence on the factors that are unknown.
  • It is considered a linguistic phenomenon since words establish parallels between realities.

What is it for

The analogy seen as a type of procedure serves in various fields and areas of thought such as language, formal logic, philosophy and law . It can even be used in specific areas such as biology in which it is used to designate specific events that have the same term.


According to its main characteristics there are two large groups of analogies, on the one hand there are the symmetric analogies and then the asymmetric analogies . Each of these groups has in turn different types of analogies which are:

  • Symmetric analogies
  • By complementarity : this type is present when the analogy needs and at the same time complements one of the words. For example: thirst – water.
  • It is synonymy : in this case, the analogy is present between two words that are synonymous. For example: serene – calm.
  • Cogeneric analogy : here the analogies happen because the concept belongs to an equal class or category. For example: iguana – lizard.
  • Asymmetrical
  • Intensity: this type of analogy happens because one of the words is going to have an important relationship, either to a greater or lesser degree with respect to the other. For example: lilac – purple.
  • Inclusive analogy: the analogy starts from the concept of totality and can be classified depending on the genus and the species, the whole or part, the set or elements and the container or content.
  • Opposition : it is also known as an antonymic analogy to go between opposites. For example: white – black.
  • Cause – effect analogy : it is a type of analogy that can be established by chance. For example: fire – fire.
  • Analogy by location : the analogy is established depending on the transit area or by the arrest of one of the words that compose it. For example: car – parking.
  • By function : in this case, the analogy is established by means of a sequence between two words. For example: marriage – children.
  • By product : it takes place when one of the words is the product while the other turns out to be the producer . For example: dressmaker – petticoat.
  • Analogy by reciprocity : this type of analogy is established because the words that are being used depend on each other. For example: spoon – eat.
  • Characteristics : here there is a relationship between two words when one of them manages to highlight some type of attribute from the other. For example: night – darkness.
  • Analogy by instrument : also called analogy by means and is responsible for highlighting the instrument or tool. For example: nurse – stethoscope.


There are four elements that are part of an analogy. The first of them is the topic in question which also happens to be the main element. Then we find the element by means of which the analogy will be made. A third element corresponds to the terms that will have the function of connecting the elements that will later be compared and finally, the explanation of the analogy that can show the relationship that exists in terms of comparison.

How is it solved

In order to solve an analogy, it is important first to be able to define exactly what is the relationship or what is the link that exists between the meanings of words. There is a common method by which analogies can be resolved, it is known by the name of ROC , acronyms that mean relationship , order and characteristics . There are three steps that must be followed to be able to solve them without having to face a series of confusions.

So, the first step will always be to identify the relationship that exists in the premise, taking into account that the premise is the first pair of words that we are going to find within the analogy. The second step will be to observe the order that the terms have and finally , it will be necessary to look for those characteristics that are similar in order to be able to restrict the semantic field in this way .

False analogy

The false analogy is a type of common argument that occurs mainly in speeches and communication which is based on comparing elements that do not really resist the slightest comparison in other words, it compares data, situations or facts that in reality do not they are comparable . In this type of analogy a figuration is made by means of a comparison of the facts that although they seem similar in reality they are not. In addition, they are very easy to refute or debate, firstly because they are absurd , secondly because they havefactors that prevent a good comparison from being made and finally, because they make equal comparisons with opposite directions .

Analogy in philosophy

In the field of philosophy, analogy is used as a mode of preaching in which the term that is predicated can be applied to several subjects in such a way that it has a common meaning for all according to what is predicated and the same time a different meaning for each subject . So the analogy moves away from both univocity and equivocation .

Analogy in psychology

In the field of psychology, analogy is a type of similarity that occurs between two aspects and is used as a technique within acceptance and commitment therapy in order to establish different relationships based on relational behavior , in others words in thought and language , which makes it possible to find timely solutions to a number of different psychological problems .


Analogies are important because they make there may be a way of inductive type to make arguments also makes it possible to try the represent a thought or experience by comparing different situations showing the same time they share similarities .


Some examples of analogies are as follows:

  • An angel is to good what the devil is to evil.
  • Madrid is to Spain what New York is to the United States .
  • An orange is to a tree the same as a son to a father.
  • Grass is to a cow what a piece of cheese is to a mouse.

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