Variation within categories.

E.A. Das-Smaal, J.H. de Swart

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Two aspects of variation within categories, relating to different models of categorization, were investigated - frequency of dimensional values and typicality differences within values. The influence of range of typicality experienced during learning and of informational value of feedback was also studied. Finally, differential forgetting of values was examined. In the experiment, subjects learned to categorize faces, and then performed a classification test task and pairwise comparisons of faces. A variety of dependent variables was employed, including the galvanic skin response (GSR). Typicality and frequency of values appeared to influence categorization performance indepen¬dent of each other. It was concluded that both prototype distance models and frequency models explain different aspects of variation within the same categories, and that models of classification should account for frequency of values in contrasting categories. Results showed furthermore (1) the influence of typicality range on the extension of a category; (2) no influence of specific feedback regarding representativeness of a face; (3) less decay with more important values; and (4) a positive relationship between uncertainty reduction and GSR.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-192
JournalActa Psychologica
Publication statusPublished - 1984


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