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Chapter 8

Chapter 8.docx

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University of Alberta
Blaine Mullins

Chapter 8 – Concepts Concepts - Knowledge: information or skills acquired through experience » Includes identifying features, classifying, making decisions, problem solving, reasoning - Concept: mental representation of categories arranged hierarchically » Can be real, abstract or imaginary » Category: certain groups themselves objects have something in common » Type: certain category (ex. chair) » Token: particular instance (ex. a specific chair) - Recognition = classification of an object into a category by automatically identifying features - Why study concepts? » Identify things how we make inferences » Organization and cognitive economy categorization makes it easier to remember things  Classification decreases the amount of info we need to learn, perceive and remember » Allow us to infer and predict ambiguous stimuli (ex. emotions in a face) » We use concepts to communicate and convey info - Formal concepts: defined by common essential characteristics with no ambiguity - Natural concepts: defined by person’ perceptions and interpretation for the world The Brain - FFA: recognizes faces - PPA: involved in identifying places/locations - Leads to distributed activity based in different properties of object (ex. shape, colour, motion, texture, behavioural properties) - Category-specific deficit: can’t identity objects that belong to a certain category (ex. animals) - Different conceptualization of the same stimulus leads to different activation in the brain » Ex. if simple geometric shapes are seen as socially interacting, different part of the brain is activated than if they are seen as mechanically interacting The Classical Approach - We sort events into categories that we’re already familiar with » Each object is an instance of a concept » Each concept has attributes (common with other items in the concept) and each attribute has values - Disjunctive concept: membership is defined by attributes » Ex. there are 3 ways to get Canadian citizenship - Relational concept: relationship between attributes determines whether object belongs to a concept » Ex. marriage = relationship between 2 people - Conjunctive concept: simple combination of attributes - Critical attribute: needed for something to quality as an instance of a concept present in ALL positive instances » Necessary condition: must have this feature to be part of the category » Sufficient condition: if it has all these features, then it is part of the category » Either in or not in category no in between » All members are equally representative of category (ex. 4 legs table and cat are equals) » Transitive: All X are Y, all Y are Z, then all X are Z - Positive instance: an object IS an instance of a particular concept - Negative instance: an object IS NOT an instance of a particular concept - Abstraction: including all recurring attributes but excluding all non-recurring ones » Recurring attributes form a set show what a typical member would look like - Problem: » Too simple and too artificial (real world concepts are complicated) » Fuzziness no real boundaries (hard to make exact definitions – everyone defines things differently) » Intransivity: you can’t always transfer properties (ex. X is Y, Y is Z, but X is not Z) » Typicality effect: some members of a category are more typical than others typical items are usually listed early in a list and show a greater priming effect » Ad-hoc categories: make up categories on the spur of the moment (ex. shopping lists) » Categories differ based on culture (ex. Canadians wouldn’t think of frog as food) - Selection task: participant tries to figure out concept by choosing cards experiment tells them whether it is a positive or negative instance » Conservative focusing: actively form a hypothesis and then choose a card that is different st than the 1 card by one feature helps you determine whether that feature is critical for being in the category – to determine if your hypothesis is correct » Focus gambling: select instances that vary from positive instances by more than one attribute may get lucky and be able to eliminate many hypothesis at once » Simultaneous scanning: keep in mind as many hypothesis as possible and try to eliminate as many as possible with each selection (great load on memory) » Successive scanning: formulate a hypothesis and test it by selecting instances until you are disproven and the correct hypothesis emerges - Receptive task: instances presented to the participant are selected by the experimenter » Wholist strategy: 1 hypothesis includes all the attributes of the positive instance if next positive instance is inconsistent, you form a new hypothesis st » Partist strategy: 1 hypothesis includes some of the attributes of the positive instance maintain hypothesis until disproven (try to make hypothesis consistent with all other positive instances)  Great memory load Prototype Theory (Rosch) - Prototypical: representative of a pattern or category average of everything in the category » Some members are more typical than others (ex. some reds are more redder than others) - Cognitive economy: effort to balance 2 opposing tendencies want to maximize the amount of info categories (more distinctions) but also keep them simple (because point of concepts is to reduce the amount of info. we have to deal with) - Perceived world structure: » Correlated attributes: some combination of attributes occur more commonly than others not found in Bruner’s card task - Vertical dimension: level of i
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