Category Use and Category Learning

Arthur B. Markman, Brian H. Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Categorization models based on laboratory research focus on a narrower range of explanatory constructs than appears necessary for explaining the structure of natural categories. This mismatch is caused by the reliance on classification as the basis of laboratory studies. Category representations are formed in the process of interacting with category members. Thus, laboratory studies must explore a range of category uses. The authors review the effects of a variety of category uses on category learning. First, there is an extensive discussion contrasting classification with a predictive inference task that is formally equivalent to classification but leads to a very different pattern of learning. Then, research on the effects of problem solving, communication, and combining inference and classification is reviewed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)592-613
Number of pages22
JournalPsychological bulletin
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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