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Title:A two-stage model of category construction
Author(s):Ahn, Woo-Kyoung
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Medin, Douglas L.
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, Experimental
Abstract:Generally, it has been argued that most natural categories are organized in terms of a family resemblance (FR) principle. However, Medin, Wattenmaker, and Hampson (1987) have shown that people do not create categories according to the FR principle in free sorting tasks, given exemplars consisting of independent dimensions. A two-stage model of category construction is presented to specify the conditions under which FR categories would be produced. The first stage involved uni-dimensional sorting of most of the given exemplars into the prescribed number of groups. The second stage involves assigning the remaining exemplars into the initially created categories. The two-stage model explains FR sorting as a by-product of the two stages and predicts that FR sorting can be obtained only when there are sufficient features for possible FR categories. Experiment 1 compared the two-stage model with previous models of category construction, including a similarity-based model, a category-validity model and CLUSTER/2. The two-stage model was shown as the best predictor for when different types of sorting would be obtained. Experiments 2 and 3 were designed to test the generality of the two-stage model across different types of stimuli and different types of task demands. Experiment 4 investigated alternative explanations for apparently conflicting results from L. B. Smith (1981). Throughout all the experiments, the two-stage model is shown as the best predictor of subjects' sorting behavior. Implications of the results for the development of FR categories are discussed.
Issue Date:1990
Rights Information:Copyright 1990 Ahn, Woo-Kyoung
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9021646
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9021646

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