Smith Chapter

Smith Chapter - Smith Chapter 1.What are categories and...

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Smith Chapter 1.What are categories and concepts? A category is a class of objects that belong together. We have mental representations of various categories and a means of deciding which of these mental representations provides the best fit to x . Concepts are the mental representations of categories (i.e. categories refer to a group of objects in the world, whereas a concept refers to a mental representation of such a group). Categorization involves visual and verbal categorization. Basic ad subordiate categories support more inferences than do superordinate categories— people will attribute far more properties to an object classified as an apple than to an object classified as a fruit. 2.What is the difference between natural kinds and artifacts? “Natural kinds” are naturally occurring species of flora ad fauna such as daisies and tigers. Artifacts are person-made objects, such as chairs and shirts. These are chosen as a focus because they are the most frequent in our lives and found in all cultures. People are more likely to make inductive inferences about invisible properties for natural-kind categories than for artifact categories. 3.What are the functions of categorization? The major functions of categorization are coding of experience and licensing of inferences. 1. Coding by concept is fundamental to mental life because it greatly reduces the demands on perceptual processes, storage space, and reasoning processes (all of which are limited). Brief/one word codes are used for frequently occurring categories. Concepts are structured into a taxonomy and are more likely to be used to code experience at an intermediate level. 2. Whenever we use a belief to generate a new one, we have drawn an inference. An inference can be “deductive”: people consider it impossible for the new belief to be false if the old one is true. It can also be “inductive”: people consider it improbable for the new belief to be false if the old one is true. 4.How is inductive inference related to categorization? Categorizing an object licenses inductive inferences about that object. For example, if there is a round, reddish object on a true and categorize it as an apple, we can then infer that it is edible and has seeds. Categorization is the mental means we have for inferring invisible properties from visible ones. *Works with child development 5.How are objects assigned to categories? Members of a natural category, tend to be perceptually similar to one another though perceptually
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This note was uploaded on 02/14/2011 for the course PSYC 532 taught by Professor Shultz during the Fall '10 term at McGill.

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Smith Chapter - Smith Chapter 1.What are categories and...

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