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Lecture 11

PSYCH 3GG3 Lecture 11: Lecture 11

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Mel Rutherford

Lecture 11 – October 06 Perceptual Category - an implicit classification of perceptual stimuli into discrete sets in spite of a lack of physical discontinuity in the stimuli • The visual spectrum in physically, but not perceptually, continuous - we perceive each of the colours as a specific category Category - a mentally represented grouping of entities (objects, people, actions or events) • This is not the only definition of category, but for the sake of this course this is how we're defining it What is a concept? • The task of defining a concept is "a lexicographer's nightmare" • A psychological grouping together of entities, objects, events or even characteristics, on the basis of some more or less functional commonality, including some taxonomic relationship • The things within the categories have a relationship between each other Instinct Blind to Concepts • Our concepts are a small subset of possible concepts • We don't notice the concepts that we don't have and are instinct blind to the concepts that we do have • Including social and mental entities: deception, integrity, love, loyalty, empathy, vengeance • Tend to be lexicalized, that are described in a word or short phrase, things that are not concepts tend to not be able to be described in such manner Universality of Children's developing concepts • Mind-boggling array of stimuli in the world • There is a remarkable (but not complete) similarity in concepts across cultures • Standard biological taxonomies • Children make an early distinction between predator and prey • We don't notice the uniformity in the concepts people have, in part because we fail to imagine the myriad other logically possible categories Function of categories • To relieve memory loa
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