ERIC Number: EJ779561
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Blocking in Category Learning
Bott, Lewis; Hoffman, Aaron B.; Murphy, Gregory L.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, v136 n4 p685-699 Nov 2007
Many theories of category learning assume that learning is driven by a need to minimize classification error. When there is no classification error, therefore, learning of individual features should be negligible. The authors tested this hypothesis by conducting three category-learning experiments adapted from an associative learning blocking paradigm. Contrary to an error-driven account of learning, participants learned a wide range of information when they learned about categories, and blocking effects were difficult to obtain. Conversely, when participants learned to predict an outcome in a task with the same formal structure and materials, blocking effects were robust and followed the predictions of error-driven learning. The authors discuss their findings in relation to models of category learning and the usefulness of category knowledge in the environment.
Descriptors: Associative Learning, Classification, Error Patterns, Hypothesis Testing, Learning Theories, Prediction, Experimental Psychology
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A