NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ915615
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0277
The Empirical Case for Role-Governed Categories
Goldwater, Micah B.; Markman, Arthur B.; Stilwell, C. Hunt
Cognition, v118 n3 p359-376 Mar 2011
Most theories of categorization posit feature-based representations. Markman and Stilwell (2001) argued that many natural categories name roles in relational systems and therefore they are role-governed categories. There is little extant empirical evidence to support the existence of role-governed categories. Three experiments examine predictions for ways that role-governed categories should differ from feature-based categories. Experiment 1 shows that our knowledge of role-governed categories, in contrast to feature-based categories, is largely about properties extrinsic to category members. Experiment 2 shows that role-governed categories have more prominent ideals than feature-based categories. Experiment 3 demonstrates that novel role-governed categories are licensed by the instantiation of novel relational structures. We then discuss broader implications for the study of categories and concepts. (Contains 5 tables and 5 figures.)
Elsevier. 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, FL 32887-4800. Tel: 877-839-7126; Tel: 407-345-4020; Fax: 407-363-1354; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A