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Test #2: Chapter 7, 8, 9 (includes lecture & textbook)

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Gabriela Ilie

PSYB57 Test #2 Notes Chapter 7 Concepts and Organization Definitions Concept - A mental representation of some object, event, or pattern that has stored in it much of the knowledge typically thought relevant to that object, event or pattern - Helps us establish order in our knowledge base - Allows us to categorize Categorizatio - process by which things are placed into groups called categories n - allows us to make predictions & act accordingly Category - a class or a group of similar things (objects or entities) - shares 1 of 2 things: an essential core - or some similarity in perceptual, bio, or fxnal properties Functions of categorization - Understand individual cases you have not seen before & make inferences about them - Reduces complexity of environment - Requires less learningmemorization - Guide to appropriate action - Distinctions bw categories causes your rxns to instances depending on classification 5 distinct approaches to study of categorization and concepts: Similarity-based Explanation-based Classical, prototype, exemplar Schemata, knowledge-based The classical view of categorization - Dominant view in psych up until 70s, dates back to Aristotle - Category membership determined by a set of defining (necessary and sufficient) properties - Assumes concepts are not representations of specific examples but a list of characteristics - All concepts share these fundamental characteristics, or features - Membership in a category is clear-cut: either in or out all or none - Aka features represented are individually necessary & collectively sufficient - Necessary = each example must have the feature - Sufficient = anything w each feature in the set is auto an instance of the concept - Implies that all members within a category are created equal Problems with classical view: No defining features - e.g., Wittgensteins game for many natural-kind - For if you look at them you will not see anything in common at all, but categories similarities, relationships, and a whole series of them at that (Wittgenstein, 1953) Typicality - Category is graded membership, boundaries are fuzzy - Eleanor Rosch and colleagues: weakened attraction of the classical view - People judge members of a category as differing in goodness - Robin & sparrow = good instances of a bird, chickens not as good example - e.g., as of August 24th 2006, Pluto has now been demoted to a dwarf planet rather than a real planet The prototype view of categorization - Prototype = an idealized representation of a class of objects - Include features that are characteristic (i.e., typical) rather than necessary or sufficient - Formed by averaging the category members we have encountered in the past - The more characteristic features aspects an instant has, the more likely it is to be regarded as a member of the category (more typical it is) - Members within a category differ in terms of prototypicality: high vs. low Determinants of typicality - Family resemblance (Rosch & Mervis,1975) - Family resemblance structure of concepts = structure in which each member has a # of features, sharing diff features w diff members - Prototypes serve as reference point - Typical examples are classified faster than non-typical - Typical examples share many features with other category members and few with other categories - *Overlapping features predicts typicality* 3 levels of categorization: Superordinat - contains members that are dissimilar in several respects, broader than e basic level - eg: musical instrument Basic - psychologically fundamental level - the best compromise bw grouping similar things and differing in imp ways - eg: piano & guitar Subordinate - less distinct than the others - eg: grand piano, electric guitar Problems with the prototype view: - fails to capture ppls knowledge about limits of conceptual boundaries - cant tell us why certain things are certain things - eg: why is a Pomeranian a dog? Why is a great dane a dog? It doesnt specify clear constraints - typicality of an instance depends to some extent on context Other views Exemplar - Concepts are composed of previous, individual instances (i.e., exemplars) - Categorization occurs by comparing current instance w previous instances stored in memory - Similar to prototype: necessary & defining features are not stated - Physical similarity to previous exemplars stored in memory (i.e. Negative Matches) influenced the categorization despite participants having a simple & sufficient categorization rule to follow
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