Diagnosticity and Prototypicality in Category Learning: A Comparison of Inference Learning and Classification Learning

Seth Chin-Parker, Brian H Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Category knowledge allows for both the determination of category membership and an understanding of what the members of a category are like. Diagnostic information is used to determine category membership; prototypical information reflects the most likely features given category membership. Two experiments examined 2 means of category learning, classification and inference learning, in terms of sensitivity to diagnostic and prototypical information. Classification learners were highly sensitive to diagnostic features but not sensitive to nondiagnostic, but prototypical, features. Inference learners were less sensitive to the diagnostic features than were classification learners and were also sensitive to the nondiagnostic, prototypical, features. Discussion focuses on aspects of the 2 learning tasks that might lead to this differential sensitivity and the implications for learning real-world categories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)216-226
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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