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Categories and Concepts Video Lecture Psych 1X03

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McMaster University
Joe Kim

Video Lecture Psych 1X03 Categories and Concepts Categorization  Without categorization, every sensory experience would be completely unique, and you will be unable to draw connections with the past, being forced to make unique decisions on even the most routine actions Functions of Categorization  Classification – allows you to treat objects that appear differently as belonging together o Eg/ Green and Red Apple – both apples and safe to eat  Understanding  Predicting o By categorizing your current experiences in memory, you can make predictions about your current situation o Eg/ Can predict that your dog will be happy and wag its tail if you pet him  Communication o Enables us to communicate efficiently, without having to explain everything you were saying o Eg/ Furniture, animals, sports etc  Illusion of the Expert o The feeling that something must be simple because you are good at it, but others may not be able to do it o Eg/ Tying your shoes is easy to you, but to a child it may be difficult Rules  For simple categories, we seem to be susceptible to the illusion of the expert Prototype Theory  Suggests that we categorize objects by comparing them to an internal representation of the category called a prototype  Prototypes – thought to be the average or “best” member of a category o Formed through experience and can be personal because all the objects you’ve encountered are averaged together  Prototype Theory – Suggests that we store one internal average o a category that is compared to a new experience to determine category membership o You categorize new objects by comparing them to your prototypes o The farther away the new object is from your prototype, the less likely it is to be in the same category as your prototype  Eg/ New tree, further away from prototype tree – maybe more likely to be a bush o Category members
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