Psychology 2010A/B Chapter Notes - Chapter 8: Semantic Dementia, Eleanor Rosch, Semantic Network

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Published on 18 Nov 2011
Western University
Psychology 2010A/B
Andrea Loa
Psych 2010A
Chapter 8 - Categorization
One way to organize knowledge is to form categories
categories consist of objects and events that we have grouped together because
we feel they are somehow related
five benefits from forming categories:
categorizing objects reduces the complexity of the environment
categorizing is the means by which objects of the world are identified
the third achievement is a consequence of the first two - the establishment of
categories reduces the need for constant learning
categorizing allows us to decide what constitutes an appropriate action
categorizing enables us to order and relate classes of objects and events
concept identification - a task that requires deciding whether an item is an example of
a concept, where concepts are typically defined by logical rules
logical rule - a rule based on logical relations, such as conjunctive, disjunctive,
conditional, and biconditional rules
limitation of this approach: many categories cannot be distinguished on the basis
of a simple rule
to recognize objects and reduce the need for constant learning, we have to be able
to classify novel objects into a familiar category
Concept Identification
Discovering Rules and Attributes
psychologists studied categorization by using the concept identification paradigm
disjunctive rule: a rule that uses the local relation or to relate stimulus attributes
such as ʻsmallʼ or ʻsquareʼ
Bruner and his colleagues proposed that people solve concept-identification
problems by evaluating hypotheses.
both attributes have to present to satisfy a conjuctive rule
the difficulty is caused by the requirement to learn both the relevant rule (such as a
disjunctive rule) and the relevant attributes (such as large, circle)
rule learning: a concept identification task in which people are told the relevant
attributes but have to discover the logical rule.
attribute learning: a concept identification task in which people are told the rule but
have to discover the relevant attributes.
Critique of the Concept Identification Paradigm
criticized as highly artificial and unrelated to the categorization tasks we usually
encounter in the real world.
real world categories such as clothes, tools, and vehicles are unlike the categories
studied in the laboratory
category members do not have to share similar attributes with other members, but
there are no or few attributes that are common to all members of the category
natural categories often have continuous dimensions (an attribute that can take
on any value along a dimension) rather than the discrete dimensions studied in
concept identification
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