PSYB57H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 8: Implicit Learning, Unconscious Cognition, Eleanor Rosch

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13 Aug 2016
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Chapter 8: Concepts
THE CLASSICAL APPROACH:
- all of us make use of concepts
- concepts are the particular category that we sort every event into
- concepts can be made up of similar attributes and values (large or
small, black or white)
- 3 types of concepts:
adjunctive concept: when many different attributes define a concept in
several ways
when a concept is a conjunction of attributes
eg: book is one: with pages, with writing, hardcover/paperback
disjunctive concept: one in which a class membership is defined by
one of two or more possible sets of attributes
eg: becoming a Canadian citizen can be done in 1 of 3 ways: by being
born in Canada, by being born outside of Canada to parents who have
Canadian nationality, and through the immigration process
relational concept: the relationship between attributes that determines
the class to which an event will be assigned
eg: the concept of marriage is seen as a relationship between two
people
- a positive instance is an object that contains the attributes necessary
in a concept
eg: for a concept of red and even for a deck of a cards, a red 10 is a
positive instance
- a negative instance is an object that doesn’t contain the attributes
necessary
eg: for above example, a black 7 is a negative instance for the concept
- if an attribute is present in all positive instances, then that attribute
is a criterial attribute
criterial attribute: an attribute that is required in order for something
to qualify as an instance of a concept
- abstraction: the process by which we include recurring attributes and
exclude non-recurring attributes
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the recurrent attributes form a set that defines the concept
 Concept Formation Tasks
- Bruner et al. used a multitude of strategies to find out what
strategies participants take to acquire a simple conjunctive concept
(eg: one black square):
1) selection task: a concept formation task in which the participant
selects instances from those presented by the experimenter
the experimenter would begin by giving the participant a card from the
deck and would ask them to say what the concept is
the participant would have to choose subsequent cards from the
concept he believes they belong and the experimenter would say
whether he is right or not
- selection task is an active process where the participant forms
hypotheses and selects instances to see if your hypotheses are correct
the strategy is called conservative focusing
a concept formation strategy of actively formulation hypotheses and
selecting instances to see if your hypotheses are correct by focusing
on one attribute at a time and by selecting instances that vary only in
one attribute
eg: if a card with black square and one border is shown to be the first
positive instance, then the participant would then choose a card that
differs only by one attribute to see if that is a criterion attribute (eg:
the participant would choose a card with black square and 2 borders;
or a white square with one border)
2) focus gambling: the concept formation strategy of selecting
instances that vary from the first positive instance in more than one
attribute
eg: if a card with black square and one border is shown to be the first
positive instance, then the participant would then choose a card that
differs by 2 attributes to get rid of his hypotheses quickly (the
participant would choose card with 2 black squares and 2 borders and
if he is wrong, he will know that neither, the number of squares or
number of borders is the criterion attribute)
3) simultaneous scanning: the concept formation strategy that keeps
in mind all possible hypotheses and tries to eliminate as many as
possible with each instance selection
places a very great load on memory because you must always keep in
mind which hypotheses would be correct and which have been proven
incorrect
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4) successive scanning: the concept formation strategy that involves
formulating a single hypothesis and testing it by selecting instances
until the correct hypothesis emerges
less demanding than simultaneous scanning
eg: if “black square” was your hypothesis, you would keep selecting
cards consistent with that hypothesis until it was disconfirmed
 Reception Strategies
- reception task: a concept formation task in which the instances
presented to the participant are chosen by the experimenter
- 2 strategies adopted by participants
wholist strategy: a concept formation strategy, used in reception
tasks, in which you initially hypothesize that all attributes are
members of the concept
if the next instance confirms that hypothesis, then you retain it
if the next positive instance is inconsistent with that hypothesis then
you form a new one that is consistent with whatever the old
hypothesis and the current instance have in common
partist strategy: a concept formation strategy, used in reception tasks,
in which you initially hypothesize that only some attributes are
members of the concept
the hypothesis is maintained until you receive some disconfirming
evidence
then you change your hypothesis to make it consistent with all the
instances you have previously seen
places heavy load in memory because you must recall all previous
instances in order to successfully revise your hypothesis
 Criticisms of Classical Concept Research
- Bruner task is very similar to the game called Mastermind
- by comparing it to a game, this method of research starts sounding
artificial
- there seemed to be an issue of ecological validity
LEARNING COMPLEX RULES
- Reber and associates investigated into how people acquire knowledge
about artificial grammars by studying the different between implicit
and explicit learning
- implicit learning: learning that takes place unconsciously
eg: showing people a string of letters and ask them to memorize the
strings but not to tell them the pattern (route) that they each use
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