Reminding-based category learning

Brian H. Ross, Susan J. Perkins, Patricia L. Tenpenny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Four experiments examine a reminding-based generalization view of category learning. According to this proposal, when subjects categorize a new instance by the use of an earlier instance, they learn about the aspects common to the two instances and this knowledge may be used in later categorizations. Experiment 1 demonstrates that which earlier instance is used to categorize a new instance affects performance on a later category test. Two assumptions of this view are then tested. Experiment 2 provides evidence for the necessity of distinct instance representations to obtain this effect. Experiment 3 shows that the reminding effect is due to the presence of the common aspects and not simply to the increased availability of the instance of which one is reminded. The final experiment extends the reminding-based learning idea to a situation in which feature relevance is provided. This study shows that the reminding determines whether this relevance has an effect later on categorization time for individual features. Discussion focuses on the implications of these results for theories of category learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)460-492
Number of pages33
JournalCognitive Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Artificial Intelligence


Dive into the research topics of 'Reminding-based category learning'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this