Effects of contrasting category, conjoint frequency and typicality on categorization.
Swart, J.H. de
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Two experiments were conducted to investigate whether (a) experience with a contrasting category, (b) conjoint frequency of dimensional values, (c) range of typicality of values, and (d) type of information administered during learning influenced subsequent test performance. Each experiment began with an observational category learning task, employing faces as stimuli. This was followed by a classification test task and by pairwise comparisons of faces. Influence of a contrasting category was studied in experiment 1 by varying frequency of values of the contrasting category, and in experiment 2 by either including or not including a contrasting category in the learning task. Results indicated that (a) categorization is influenced by experience with a contrasting category, (b) conjoint frequency enhances the importance of values to a category, (c) broad typicality range experience reduces typicality differences among exemplars of a category, whereas small range experience diminishes differences in a contrasting category, and (d) information on representativeness of exemplars does not facilitate subsequent test performance. The implications of the results for categorization models are discussed.