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ERIC Number: ED548712
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 307
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2673-1720-9
Priming Effects Associated with the Hierarchical Levels of Classification Systems
Loehrlein, Aaron J.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Indiana University
The act of categorization produces conceptual representations in memory while knowledge organization (KO) systems provide conceptual representations that are used in information storage and retrieval systems. Previous research has explored how KO systems can be designed to resemble the user's internal conceptual structures. However, the more important question of how a user cognitively interacts with KO systems remains largely uninvestigated. This study investigated how navigating a hierarchical classification scheme affects conceptualization by priming concepts at different levels in the hierarchy. The study asked approximately 100 participants to rank a set of characteristics in terms of their importance for vacation planning. One week later, participants navigated one of four small hierarchical classifications of potential vacations before ranking the same characteristics a second time. Participants gave significantly higher rankings to the characteristic that matched the top level of the hierarchy that they were given. However, this effect reached significance only among participants who were given hierarchies with expressive labels. These findings indicate that priming effects are associated with interaction with hierarchical organizations but that these effects are not as strong as priming effects that occur when participants are also provided with meaningful labels. Participants also provided pairwise similarity ratings for characteristics. Similarity ratings tended to increase between the pre-test and post-test except for those participants who were presented with non-meaningful labels. These findings suggest that people tend to increase ratings of similarity after interacting with a KO system; however, when people use a KO system in which principles of organization are not clear, they appear to be less inclined, or less able, to identify similarities between concepts. Future research will investigate these effects in hierarchical classifications of other concept domains. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A