Chapter 8.docx - Chapter 8 1 Define semantic memory and...

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Chapter 81.Define semantic memory, and provide some examples. How is it related to top-down processing? Define “categories” and “concepts.” Explain how categories and concepts are related to semantic memory.Semantic memory refers to our organized knowledge about the world. Usually refers to knowledge or information; it does not specify how we acquired that information. An example of semantic memory would be: Ottawa is the capital of Canada.However, the term semantic memory usually refers to knowledge or information; it does not specify how we acquired that information.Semantic memory includes both general knowledge and knowledge about language.It is related to top down processing as in order to be able to aquire general knowledge, you must be able to obtain this information from past experiences or knowledge, which top down processing does.A category is a set of objects that belong together. For example: the category called ‘‘fruit’’ represents a certain category of food items.A category tells us something useful about their members (Close et al., 2010; Murphy, 2010; Ross & Tidwell, 2010). For example, suppose that you hear someone say, ‘‘Rambutan is a fruit.’’ You conclude that you should probably eat it in a salad or a dessert, instead of frying it with onions and freshly ground pepper. A concept refers to your mental representations of a category. You have a concept of ‘‘fruits,’’ which refers to your mental representation of the objects in that category. For exampleEach of your academic courses requires you to form concepts (Barsalou, 2009; Goldstone & Kersten, 2003; Hannon et al., 2010). In an art history course, you may need to create a concept called ‘‘15th-century Flemish painting,’’ and in a Spanish course, you learn a concept called ‘‘people whom you greet with the ‘usted’ form of a verb. Your concepts also allow you to make numerousinferences when you encounter new examples from a category (Barsalou, 2009; Davis & Love, 2010; Jones & Ross, 2011). For example, even a young child knows that a member of the category ‘‘fruit’’ has the attribute ‘‘you can eat it.’’ When she encounters a new kind of fruit, she makes the inference (usually correctly) that you can eat it. Your semantic memory allows you to organize the objects you encounter. Even though the objects are not identical, you can combine together a wide variety of similar objects by using a single, one-word concept (Milton & Wills, 2004; Wisniewski, 2002; Yamauchi, 2005). This coding process greatly reduces the space required for storage, because many objects can all be stored with the same label. As we noted earlier, these inferences allow you to go beyond the given information, greatly expanding your knowledge. Otherwise—if you had no concepts—you would need to examine each new chair you encountered, in order to figure out how to use it
Comment:As indicated in the overview to this unit, the idea of defining a concept by necessary features is also known as the classical view. Although certain human-made concepts can be defined by a set of necessary and sufficient features (e.g., a square),

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