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ch. 8 lec 9.docx

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Michael Inzlicht

Lecture 9 Chapter 8 Pg. 294, 311-14, 318-19 DEFINITIONS - Ludwig Wittgenstein argues that the simple terms we use everyday don’t have definitions - Even simple terms, terms denoting concepts we use easily and often resist being defined Family Resemblance - Probabilistic phrasing preserves what’s good about definitions – they do dame sensible, relevant features, shared by more members of the category - This phrasing allows a degree of uncertainty, some number of expectation to the rule - Wittgenstein proposed that members of a category have a family resemblance to each other - There are probably no defining features for your family – features that every family has - There are features that are common in the family and if we consider family members we can usually find some shared attributes - Identity of those common features depends on what subgroup of the family you’re considering – i.e. hair colour - Each member of the family has at least some features in common with this ideal and some features in common with other family members - Wittgenstein proposed that ordinary categories like dog or game work in the same way - May be no features that are shared by all dogs just as there are no features shared by everyone in your family - We can identify characteristic features for each category – features that many category members have - The more of these features an object has, the more likely you are to believe it is in the category - Family resemblance is in the matter of degree PROTOTYPES AND TYPICALITY EFFECTS - One way to think about definitions – they set the boundaries for a category - Prototype theory – begins with a different tactic: the best way to identify a category, to characterize a concept is to specify the center of the category rather than the boundaries - A prototype represents the ideal for the category; an average of the various category members - Different people may have different prototypes - The prototype will serve as the anchor for conceptual knowledge; when you reason about a concept your reasoning is done with reference to the prototype Prototypes and Graded Members - Membership in a category depends on resemblance to the prototype and resemblance is a matter of degree - Membership in the category is not a simple yes/no decision; it’s a matter of more/less - Graded membership – object closer to the prototype are better members of the category Testing the Prototype Notion - Sentence verification task, research participants are presented with a succession of sentences o Job is to indicate whether each sentence is true or false - According to a prototype perspective, participants make these judgements by comparing the thing mentioned i.e. penguin to their prototype for that category i.e. bird - Judgements about items more distant from the prototype take more time - Production task, participants are asked to name as many i.e. birds as they can o According to prototype view, they will do this task by first locating their bird prototype in memory and then asking themselves what resembles this prototype - What matters in both tasks is proximity to the prototype - Members of a category that are privileged on one task turn out also to be privileged on other tasks - Various tasks converge in the sense that each task yields the same answer – indicates the same category members as special - Rating tasks, participants are given instructions to choose out of a group of items which is i.e. doggier than others o Rate items as being less i.e. doggy; when these are farther from the prototype - When people think about a category they are thinking about the prototype for that category Basic-Level Categories 1 Lecture 9 Chapter 8 Pg. 294, 311-14, 318-19 - Certain types of category are also privileged – in their structure and how they are used - Natural level of categorization, neither too specific nor too general – basic-level categorization - Usually represented in our language via a single word, while some specific categories are identified only via a phrase i.e. chair - The more specific (subordinate) categories of i.e. lawn chair are not basic level - If asked to describe an object, likely rely on basic-level term EXEMPLARS Analogies for Remembered Exemplars - In some cases categorization can draw on knowledge about specific category members rather than on more general info about the overall category - You categorize objects by comparing them to a mentally represented standard - For prototype theory, the standard is the prototype – an average representing the entire category - For exemplar theory, the standard is provided by whatever exemplar of the category comes to mind A Combination of Exemplars and Prototypes - Exemplar-based views can easily explain typicality effects - Rely on both prototypes and exemplars in your thinking about categories - Prototypes provide an economical representation of what typical for a category - Exemplars provide info that’s lost from the prototype - People can adjust their categories in precise ways - The exemplar and prototype models rely on the same process – a triggering of a memory then a judgement of resemblance, and a conclusion based on this resemblance THE DIFFICULTIES WITH CATEGORIZING VIA RESEMBLANCE The Different B/W Typicality and Categorization - Judgements of typicality and judgement of category membership both derive from the same source: resemblance to an exemplar or to a prototype - Judgements are guided by your sense of what’s essential for a category and what’s not - What counts as essential depends on your understanding of that category – you consider parentage in some cases but not others - Circumstances of printing in some cases but not others - This understanding, guiding your judgement, depends on a web of other beliefs – about biological inheritance, monetary systems The Complexity of Similarity - In order to use your category knowledge, you’ve got
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