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

Description

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

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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Grounding concepts: physical interaction can provide minor benefit to category learning

Description

Categories are often defined by rules regarding their features. These rules may be intensely complex yet, despite the complexity of these rules, we are often able to learn them with sufficient practice. A possible explanation for how we arrive at

Categories are often defined by rules regarding their features. These rules may be intensely complex yet, despite the complexity of these rules, we are often able to learn them with sufficient practice. A possible explanation for how we arrive at consistent category judgments despite these difficulties would be that we may define these complex categories such as chairs, tables, or stairs by understanding the simpler rules defined by potential interactions with these objects. This concept, called grounding, allows for the learning and transfer of complex categorization rules if said rules are capable of being expressed in a more simple fashion by virtue of meaningful physical interactions. The present experiment tested this hypothesis by having participants engage in either a Rule Based (RB) or Information Integration (II) categorization task with instructions to engage with the stimuli in either a non-interactive or interactive fashion. If participants were capable of grounding the categories, which were defined in the II task with a complex visual rule, to a simpler interactive rule, then participants with interactive instructions should outperform participants with non-interactive instructions. Results indicated that physical interaction with stimuli had a marginally beneficial effect on category learning, but this effect seemed most prevalent in participants were engaged in an II task.

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Date Created
2014