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PSYC 302
Kiley J Hamlin

PSYC 302 COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT: CATEGORIESAND MEMORY CONCEPTS AND CATEGORIES concept: a basic unit of ideas; conceptualized as a single word which stands for more information; exemplified by a single noun categorization: take perceptually similar or dissimilar entities and either put them in the same or different piles of memory; they can have more concepts than one in a categorization CATEGORICAL LEVELS the one that goes with the concept is the basic level (it seems the most obvious) under the basic level is subordinate levels or high level categories CATEGORIES AS TOOLS categories allow you to organize information and applying the category label allows you to infer information about the concept WHERE DO THEY COME FROM? do you build up lots of exemplars over time or is it innate? innate could be low level (we are born with the ability to form concepts and store them or are we born with the ability to form only some concepts more easily than others?) EXPERIENTIALACCOUNTS most of our concepts we get through teaching you learn the category over time especially when you are able to label the concept acquired equivalence: if you hear the same verbal label for two different things it leads you to see these things as more similar and things are seen as more different when they are given a different label this says that the existence of labels is what gives us concepts; if you didnt have the language to label things you couldnt categorize them in a certain way FAMILY RESEMBLANCE VIEW the world is structured so that the members of a category tend to look the same you extact the regularities in the environment and you dont need language because the regularities you need to group things together in your mind exist in the real world due to their similarities CATEGORIES IN INFANCY? familiarize babies to a set of exemplars which are varied (different colors, sizes, orientation), but still all in the same category then you test on a new set in which there is a new category CONTROL ISSUES you need to show that it isnt just about natural preferences you can give them a category which is subordinate (within category) MANUAL HABITUATION instead of looking at different items you can give babies toys and measure how long they want to play with it; the idea is that if you continue to give a baby toys in the same category, if they see them as similar, their playing time will decrease you can use superordinate SEQUENTIALTOUCHING PROCEDURE babies touch things by categories if you place items in front of a baby they tend to touch items based on category membership and they do this by 12 mo's and exhaust touching all members of that cateory before moving onto something else GENERALIZED IMITATION show babies a model to zebra drinking from a bottle and then you give the baby two new toys and the bottle and you see if they spontaneously imitate you gender: have girl doll and boy doll; show an action on an animal and then give infant the boy and girl doll to see which one they are likely to imitate the thing on (this shows what infants think are in each gender category) CURRENT ISSUES IN CATEGORY FORMATION what is it that makes animals different from other things? maybe it is just perceptual? people are different from chairs because they look different from chairs; curvilinear thigns are more often living and living things tend to be self starters study found that infants differentiate cats and dogs based on their head you can ask whether babies categories are perceptual or conceptual: until you have a way to label an idea you cant have an idea (conceptual categories) does the baby come into the lab that there are certain classes of things that are dogs an cats or do they form this knowledge in the lab you can use completely novel stimuli so the baby has never seen it before or alter the stimuli to make it perceptually different you can test someone who has had an experience and someone who has not had a certain experience; if you compare these there isnt that big difference and this could show that experience isnt the cause you can also ask which level of categories could/ should come first studies using a variety of methods that babies are getting the bigger concept first: *this can be studies through manual hab task and they dont show increased attention to a fish when they have been playing with birds but they do show increased attention when given a plane MEMORY WHATS YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY? its hard to distinguish between a memory and a recreation of the story Freud thought childhood amnesia was the suppression of embarassing thoughts so you repress the whole period CHILDHOOD AMNESIA people dont generally remember anything before the age of 2 CAUSES OF CHILDHOODAMNESIA we dont have language when we encode memories of babies so there is a mismatch with how we store memory now than when we stored them as babies therefore there is a mismatch between the retreival and encoding 2-4 yr olds: shrinking machine game 6-12 mo after the game you bring them back; those who had verbal skills when the
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