(Translated into Japanese as: Spencer-Smith, J., & Goldstone, R. L. (2001). The dynamics of similarity. in A. Ohnishi and H. Suzuki (Eds.) Ruii kara mita kokoro (Similarity-based approach to mind). Tokyo, Japan: Kyoritsu Shuppan.)
Similarity depends on representations of stimuli that are constructed and changed during comparison-making. Specific features may be selectively weighted during comparison, and the features used in a comparison may themselves be a product of the comparison process. Traditional models of similarity and analogy rely on representations that are assumed to exist prior to comparison and are inflexible. Evidence from previous research indicates that weighting of features in similarity judgments may vary dynamically during processing (Goldstone, 1994; Goldstone & Medin, 1994). SIAM (Goldstone, 1994), a model providing an account of dynamic weighting, is discussed. Additional studies indicate that features may be developed or introduced during similarity judgments. A methodology for examining process-oriented models that may account for flexible representations is proposed.