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ERIC Number: EJ836531
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
Learning Mode and Exemplar Sequencing in Unsupervised Category Learning
Zeithamova, Dagmar; Maddox, W. Todd
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v35 n3 p731-741 May 2009
Exemplar sequencing effects in incidental and intentional unsupervised category learning were investigated to illuminate how people form categories without an external teacher. Stimuli were perfectly separable into 2 categories based on 1 of 2 dimensions of variation. Sequencing of the first 20 training stimuli was manipulated. In the blocked condition, 10 Category A stimuli were followed by 10 Category B stimuli. In the intermixed condition, these 20 stimuli were ordered randomly. Experiment 1 revealed an interaction between learning mode and sequence, with better intentional learning for intermixed sequences but better incidental learning for blocked sequences. Experiment 2 showed that manipulating trial-to-trial variability along each dimension can impact intentional learning. Training sequences that emphasized variation along the category-relevant dimension resulted in better performance than sequences that emphasized variation along the category-irrelevant dimension. The results suggest that unsupervised category learning is influenced by the mode of learning and the order and nature of encountered exemplars. (Contains 8 figures, 5 tables and 2 footnotes.)
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 - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A