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ERIC Number: EJ847016
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
Predicting Category Intuitiveness with the Rational Model, the Simplicity Model, and the Generalized Context Model
Pothos, Emmanuel M.; Bailey, Todd M.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v35 n4 p1062-1080 2009
Naive observers typically perceive some groupings for a set of stimuli as more intuitive than others. The problem of predicting category intuitiveness has been historically considered the remit of models of unsupervised categorization. In contrast, this article develops a measure of category intuitiveness from one of the most widely supported models of supervised categorization, the generalized context model (GCM). Considering different category assignments for a set of instances, the authors asked how well the GCM can predict the classification of each instance on the basis of all the other instances. The category assignment that results in the smallest prediction error is interpreted as the most intuitive for the GCM--the authors refer to this way of applying the GCM as "unsupervised GCM." The authors systematically compared predictions of category intuitiveness from the unsupervised GCM and two models of unsupervised categorization: the simplicity model and the rational model. The unsupervised GCM compared favorably with the simplicity model and the rational model. This success of the unsupervised GCM illustrates that the distinction between supervised and unsupervised categorization may need to be reconsidered. However, no model emerged as clearly superior, indicating that there is more work to be done in understanding and modeling category intuitiveness. (Contains 11 tables and 8 figures.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A