ERIC Number: EJ784786
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb
Reference Count: 0
What's behind Different Kinds of Kinds: Effects of Statistical Density on Learning and Representation of Categories
Kloos, Heidi; Sloutsky, Vladimir M.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, v137 n1 p52-72 Feb 2008
This research examined how differences in category structure affect category learning and category representation across points of development. The authors specifically focused on category density--or the proportion of category-relevant variance to the total variance. Results of Experiments 1-3 showed a clear dissociation between dense and sparse categories: Whereas dense categories were readily learned without supervision, learning of sparse categories required supervision. There were also developmental differences in how statistical density affected category representation. Although children represented both dense and sparse categories on the basis of the overall similarity (Experiment 4A), adults represented dense categories on the basis of similarity and represented sparse categories on the basis of the inclusion rule (Experiment 4B). The results support the notion that statistical structure interacts with the learning regime in their effects on category learning. In addition, these results elucidate important developmental differences in how categories are represented, which presents interesting challenges for theories of categorization.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Authoring Institution: N/A