Biases in categorization
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On what grounds can we conclude that an act of categorization is biased? In this chapter, it is contended that in the absence of objective norms of what categories actually are, biases in categorization can only be specified in relation to theoretical understandings of categorization. Therefore, the chapter starts with an overview of current theoretical positions regarding categorization, and the various constraints on learning and using categories that are specified by these theories. Several types of categorization bias follow from these descriptions. In this context, the role of prototypes, basic level categories, existing schemata, category width, context, feature frequency and correlation among features is discussed, as well as the biasing influence of selective attention, hypothesis testing and task demands.