Textbook Notes (378,454)
CA (167,143)
UTSC (19,210)
Psychology (9,982)
PSYB57H3 (376)
Chapter

Chapter Seven:Concepts and Categorization

10 Pages
89 Views

Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYB57H3
Professor
Gabriela Ilie

This preview shows pages 1-3. Sign up to view the full 10 pages of the document.
PSYB57 Memory and Cognition
Chapter Seven Concepts and Categorization
Concept: mental representation of some object, event or pattern that has stored in it
much of the knowledge typically thought relevant to that object, etc
i.e. the concept of dog includes: mans best friend, domestic animal, animal with four
legs and a tail, furry, etc
Helps establish order in knowledge base; mental sorting bins
Helps people decide on how to act when encountering something never encountered
before, but is similar to something familiar
i.e. seeing a new, ultra modern design for a can opener that still has similar
features to a traditional one
Smith and Medin (1981): concepts are very important because they help people keep
order in their mind; if we thought everything we saw was unique/novel:
the mind will overwhelmed by the diversity of objects, events, etc that people
encounter everyday
people will only remember a small fraction of what they encounter
language will be too complex, if everything needed its own specific name makes
communication near impossible
Category: a class of similar things (objects or entities) that share one of two things:
1.an essential core
2.similarity in perceptual, biological or functional properties
allows people to make predictions and act accordingly
Theoretical Descriptions of the Nature of Concepts
The Classical View
Dominant until the 1970s; dates back to Aristotle
Classical view of concepts: all examples/instances of a concept share features
Feature: fundamental characteristic
www.notesolution.com
Each feature is individually necessary and collectively sufficient
Individually necessary: each example must have the feature if it is to be regarded as a
member of the concept
Collectively sufficient: anything with each feature in the set is automatically an
instance of the concept
Has several implications:
Concept mentally represents lists of features
Concepts are not representations of specific examples, but of abstractions of
info about properties and characteristics
Something has either all necessary and sufficient features (part of a category)
or is lacking one or more of them (not part of the category)
All members of categories are created equal
Eleanor Rosch (1973, 1975): challenged this view and weakened the attraction to
Found that people do judge members of categories on levels of goodness
i.e. a robin or a sparrow is a better example of a bird than a chicken or
When asked list instances of a concept, people are more likely to list typical
than atypical instances
Classical view holds that members of a category are either all in or not 
cannot explain Roschs findings
McCloskey and Glucksberg (1978):
Found people were inconsistent in their categorization of atypical instances of
a category
Most people cannot generate lists of features that are both necessary and
sufficient to specify membership in a category
The Prototype View
Proposed in the 1970s by Eleanor Rosch et al.
Prototype view of concepts: denies the existence of necessary-and-sufficient feature
lists (except for a very limited number of concepts such as math); endorses the idea of
www.notesolution.com
prototypes that hold features/aspects that are characteristic/typical of members in a
category
Prototype: idealized representation of some class of objects or events; mental
summaries/averages of all instances
Concepts have one or more core representations, based on family resemblance with
no rigid boundaries
Like in the prototype matching model, the more prototypical features something
has, the more it can be considered to be a member of a category
Family resemblance structure of concepts: structure in which each member has a
number of features, sharing different features with different members; very few features
are shared by every single individual in the category
Rosch and Mervis (1975)
Presented participants with list of words (i.e. orange, peas, chair, gun) that
belonged to superordinate categories (furniture, fruit, weapon, vehicle,
clothing and vegetable) 20 words per category
All attributes participants listed for all basic-level terms belonging to each
superordinate category were tallied ; computed the number of attributes
commonly listed for each item
Findings:
Items thought to be prototypical of the superordinate category had more of the
attributes of the superordinate category
i.e. chair and table shared more attributes with furniture than telephone or
clock
Very few (0 or 1) attributes in any of the superordinate categories were applicable to
all items for the category
Rosch et al. (1976)
Basic level of categorization: a level of abstraction that is psychologically
fundamental; categorizing instances that are maximally similar to each other within
superordinate categories, but most differentiated to each other compared to
subordinate; way for mind to distinguish and group instances within a category
www.notesolution.com

Loved by over 2.2 million students

Over 90% improved by at least one letter grade.

Leah — University of Toronto

OneClass has been such a huge help in my studies at UofT especially since I am a transfer student. OneClass is the study buddy I never had before and definitely gives me the extra push to get from a B to an A!

Leah — University of Toronto
Saarim — University of Michigan

Balancing social life With academics can be difficult, that is why I'm so glad that OneClass is out there where I can find the top notes for all of my classes. Now I can be the all-star student I want to be.

Saarim — University of Michigan
Jenna — University of Wisconsin

As a college student living on a college budget, I love how easy it is to earn gift cards just by submitting my notes.

Jenna — University of Wisconsin
Anne — University of California

OneClass has allowed me to catch up with my most difficult course! #lifesaver

Anne — University of California
Description
PSYB57 Memory and Cognition Chapter Seven Concepts and Categorization Concept: mental representation of some object, event or pattern that has stored in it much of the knowledge typically thought relevant to that object, etc i.e. the concept of dog includes: mans best friend, domestic animal, animal with four legs and a tail, furry, etc Helps establish order in knowledge base; mental sorting bins Helps people decide on how to act when encountering something never encountered before, but is similar to something familiar i.e. seeing a new, ultra modern design for a can opener that still has similar features to a traditional one Smith and Medin (1981): concepts are very important because they help people keep order in their mind; if we thought everything we saw was uniquenovel: the mind will overwhelmed by the diversity of objects, events, etc that people encounter everyday people will only remember a small fraction of what they encounter language will be too complex, if everything needed its own specific name makes communication near impossible Category: a class of similar things (objects or entities) that share one of two things: 1. an essential core 2. similarity in perceptual, biological or functional properties allows people to make predictions and act accordingly Theoretical Descriptions of the Nature of Concepts The Classical View Dominant until the 1970s; dates back to Aristotle Classical view of concepts: all examplesinstances of a concept share features Feature: fundamental characteristic www.notesolution.com
More Less
Unlock Document


Only pages 1-3 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.

Unlock Document
You're Reading a Preview

Unlock to view full version

Unlock Document

Log In


OR

Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


OR

By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.


Submit