Analogies are rarely a perfect match. There are always some mismatches.
Sometimes these mismatches are on "core" attributes, that seem "critical" to the problem. For example, someone working on nanoscale heat transfer may find it very important that any analogical match respect the core attribute of scale (nano).
The idea of "core" attributes is closely related to the core analogy concept of Z: Alignable differences:
We frequently see in our attempts to provide analogical inspirations to real-world creatives (e.g., scientists, engineers, designers), that Z: People rapidly reject analogical matches when there is a clear attribute mismatch.
However, the effect of core attribute mismatches on creativity is controversial. There are competing effects / explanations
What might explain the mixed effects of attribute mismatches on creative output?
One important distinction might be the timescale / immediacy of the effect of the analogy, with positive and negative impacts showing up at different timescales.
For example, there is some evidence that Z: Paths to creative breakthroughs are frequently oblique, and analogies might be similar.
We sort of inch towards something like this in our experiments with Hyeonsu (WP: Augmenting scientific creativity with analogical inspirations), with our ideas about generative misalignment, and focusing more on "creative adaptation" vs. direct application
So maybe the way to think about this is in terms of different mechanisms or pathways of inspiration?
More direct path --> try to match on key domain constraints and attributes