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Isomorphic categories

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Learning and transfer were investigated for a categorical structure in which relevant stimulus information could be mapped without loss from one modality to another. The category space was composed of

Learning and transfer were investigated for a categorical structure in which relevant stimulus information could be mapped without loss from one modality to another. The category space was composed of three non-overlapping, linearly-separable categories. Each stimulus was composed of a sequence of on-off events that varied in duration and number of sub-events (complexity). Categories were learned visually, haptically, or auditorily, and transferred to the same or an alternate modality. The transfer set contained old, new, and prototype stimuli, and subjects made both classification and recognition judgments. The results showed an early learning advantage in the visual modality, with transfer performance varying among the conditions in both classification and recognition. In general, classification accuracy was highest for the category prototype, with false recognition of the category prototype higher in the cross-modality conditions. The results are discussed in terms of current theories in modality transfer, and shed preliminary light on categorical transfer of temporal stimuli.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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The effect of partial exemplar experience on ill-defined, multi-modal categories

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The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of partial exemplar experience on category formation and use. Participants had either complete or limited access to the three dimensions

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of partial exemplar experience on category formation and use. Participants had either complete or limited access to the three dimensions that defined categories by dimensions within different modalities. The concept of "crucial dimension" was introduced and the role it plays in category definition was explained. It was hypothesized that the effects of partial experience are not explained by a shifting of attention between dimensions (Taylor & Ross, 2009) but rather by an increased reliance on prototypical values used to fill in missing information during incomplete experiences. Results indicated that participants (1) do not fill in missing information with prototypical values, (2) integrate information less efficiently between different modalities than within a single modality, and (3) have difficulty learning only when partial experience prevents access to diagnostic information.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Distinguishing emergent and sequential processes by learning emergent second-order features

Description

Emergent processes can roughly be defined as processes that self-arise from interactions without a centralized control. People have many robust misconceptions in explaining emergent process concepts such as natural selection

Emergent processes can roughly be defined as processes that self-arise from interactions without a centralized control. People have many robust misconceptions in explaining emergent process concepts such as natural selection and diffusion. This is because they lack a proper categorical representation of emergent processes and often misclassify these processes into the sequential processes category that they are more familiar with. The two kinds of processes can be distinguished by their second-order features that describe how one interaction relates to another interaction. This study investigated if teaching emergent second-order features can help people more correctly categorize new processes, it also compared different instructional methods in teaching emergent second-order features. The prediction was that learning emergent features should help more than learning sequential features because what most people lack is the representation of emergent processes. Results confirmed this by showing participants who generated emergent features and got correct features as feedback were better at distinguishing two kinds of processes compared to participants who rewrote second-order sequential features. Another finding was that participants who generated emergent features followed by reading correct features as feedback did better in distinguishing the processes than participants who only attempted to generate the emergent features without feedback. Finally, switching the order of instruction by teaching emergent features and then asking participants to explain the difference between emergent and sequential features resulted in equivalent learning gain as the experimental group that received feedback. These results proved teaching emergent second-order features helps people categorize processes and demonstrated the most efficient way to teach them.

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Date Created
  • 2015