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ERIC Number: EJ934226
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
Error Discounting in Probabilistic Category Learning
Craig, Stewart; Lewandowsky, Stephan; Little, Daniel R.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v37 n3 p673-687 May 2011
The assumption in some current theories of probabilistic categorization is that people gradually attenuate their learning in response to unavoidable error. However, existing evidence for this error discounting is sparse and open to alternative interpretations. We report 2 probabilistic-categorization experiments in which we investigated error discounting by shifting feedback probabilities to new values after different amounts of training. In both experiments, responding gradually became less responsive to errors, and learning was slowed for some time after the feedback shift. Both results were indicative of error discounting. Quantitative modeling of the data revealed that adding a mechanism for error discounting significantly improved the fits of an exemplar-based and a rule-based associative learning model, as well as of a recency-based model of categorization. We conclude that error discounting is an important component of probabilistic learning. (Contains 5 figures and 2 tables.)
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
Identifiers - Location: Australia