Psychology of Thinking Concept Chart Professor Matt Serra Duke University - Fall 2006 Vanessa Villamia Sochat Form

of Representation Assumptions General Criticisms Experimental Criticisms
1) Findings reflect a categorization process… we infer thinking process from behavior. 2) We ask people to list features… we don’t know if using nonnecessary or defining – get rid of need to list features with MULTIDIMENSIONAL SCALING

How does it deal with…
Typicality Effects Unclear Cases
Should have 100% certainty

Nesting (disjunctive concepts)

Classical View

1) representation of a concept is a summary description of an entire class rather than a set of descriptions of various subsets or exemplars of that class. result of an abstraction process need not correspond to a possible, specific instance applies to all possible test instances (applied to anything I think is a pen)

2) The features that represent a concept are singly necessary and jointly sufficient to define the concept 3) Two instances of the same concept cannot be totally disjunctive under classical view 4) Nesting of features

1) Functional features (but nothing says can’t have them) 2) Cannot account for disjunctive concepts (but do they exist?) 3) Disagreement among individuals (but they don’t know features) 4) Specification of defining features (just because we haven’t figured them out doesn’t mean they don’t exist! 5) DEATH NILL: Nested concepts! Subset should be more similar to immediate superordinate over any distant set. This doesn't always happen. (but again, asking ppl to produce, may be mediated by something 5) Should 1) Has limited capacity: we can only do so much at one time 2) Takes no longer to respond to atypical than typical probe when probe isn’t a member of the concept. 3) People generate more features for typical than atypical concepts 4) Family resemblance – found graded membership in cateogories

Shouldn’t occur under classical view COMLPEXITY MODEL Added intrinsic/extrinsic features to deal with gradient of membership

Complexity Model

Has classical features, nesting, etc We compare features of target and probe and say no as soon as we find a mismatch Two steps: 1) 2)

Access Comparison

1) typicality is an inverse of complexity. More typical = less features. More atypical = more features 2) We name typical instances because probe acts as memory probe and the most typical thing comes to mind.

Target = category Probe = instance

1) Ctegorization is based on defining features which are relatively inaccessible 2) We can’t tell if people listing necessary or non necessary features Maybe they are categorizing using non necessary features mediated by defining features? The only way to test this is to use MULTIDIMENSIONAL SCALING – gets ride of need to list features.

1) a probe concept should be categorized faster when the target concept is a distant superordinate than when it is an immediate one because there are fewer features to compare

Multidimensional Scaling Salvaging Classical View
Access Links Between Concepts Translation of Features

People rank similarity of pairs,

1) Closer things clump together based on similarity 2) We can also do this with features to see which features cluster around which concepts 1) People can check interconnect links rather than checking features of concept when doing categorization facts. Information comes from links. Links of paths will vary. Longer paths = longer processing time.

1) People judging similarity on perceptual (non-necessary features) – slaps classical view in the face!

1) Paths allow for shortcuts. This model is lacking in constraints 2) Says nothing about non-necessary features, and it’s obvious that we use them

An atypical member has a longer path than a typical member, so takes more time.

This view was created to get around nesting issues. Says nothing about disjunctive concepts

Rule plus exception approach: Rule is classical view. Exceptions are translated (the atypical ones)

1) Allows for translation from one feature to another (flying implies animate) so drops nesting all together

Greater Accessibility of ID Features

Identification features (perceptual) ARE important, so let’s focus on them.

1) Has no way dealing with non necessary features 2) If we add enough translation, there isn’t need for defining features at all, so we don’t even need classical view Shifting theoretical work away from defining featurers (core) so why bother with them at all? This view salvages the classical view by throwing it away.

Typical things require fewer translations, so it takes less tome.

This view has difficulty with unclear cases – if given enough time should be able to figure something out

No need for nesting because we are dealing with non necessary features Disjunctive Concepts: caused by perceptual stuff so it doesn’t matter!

Prototype Theory Featural Approach

Has summary description, representation of a concept is assumed to be results of an abstraction process which is not necessarily realizable as an instance. But we don’t need necessary features

1) Features that go into this summary representation are salient (tangible, perceptual, noticeable) ones. 2) They have a substantial probability in occurring in instances of the concept. 3) Featural approach deals with modal features (non-necessary features represented by weights, which are reflective of salience and probability) 4) Categorization is determined by a weighted feature sum 5) no specification of defining features, we are using modal features, so deals with use of non-necessary features well

1) Just listing features to describe something doesn't give us enough information. Doesn't specify kind of knowledge we have about concepts. People know about relationships between features and the variability that is permissible within that concept. Needs a way to incorporate that information! 2) What features could be plausible? What's allowed and what isn't? Someone’s feature may not be someone else’s. We may have pseudo features. Features should have some degree of generality. There are no constraints on what can be listed as features. 3) Has little if anything to say about context. (The prime might be concept, so spreading activation hints at context) There's not enough information given by discrete features.

Typical members match more features than non typical, so reach sum faster

unclear cases can occur if we are right at the threshold for membership or slightly below it, or if we reach threshold for one or more different concepts at the same time.

Disjunctive concepts: Since the same weighted sum can be reached by combinations of various features, it follows that various feature sets can be used to determine category membership. Nesting Problem: weighted sum for chicken matches/reaches animal sum more quickly than bird

Spreading Activation

Represented as summary descriptions that contain many non-necessary features. Each feature is weighted by its importance in conferring concept membership. This is called criteriality. You only have to store features once, and members of concepts are connected to these features.

1. Presented with something, representation activated 2. Activation spreads on paths to anything connected to 3. Intersecting links are brought forward for further evaluation. Features aren't. 4. If links share same label, information accumulated. We accumulate matches and mismatches. We either accumulate enough + evidence or enough – evidence to surpass some threshold Non-necessary features are built into this model! Defining might be built in, but it doesn’t matter

CRITICISM FEATURAL AND DIMENSIONAL APPROACHES 1) Neither approaches seem to represent all of knowledge contained in a concept, particularly relations between concepts 2) Very few true constraints on these models, who si to say what are correct features/dimensions 3) Neither deals with context effects at all, spreading activation hints at it, but none of them talk about it explicitly 4) Metric space may not hold true in the brain

Typicalty effects: when dealing with a weighted sum, typical ones reach it faster than atypical

Disjunctive concepts: Weighted sum could be reached by any variation of combinations.

Feature Comparison Model

There is a summary representation using weighted non necessary features but this does not necessarily rely on feature sums for processing

1) The person ignores all weights. They simply determine number of feature matches between test item and target concept. Could be accomplished by simultaneously comparing each feature of target with each feature test item. If the number of matches exceeds some high criterion, the item mostly likely belongs to the concept, and we say YES. When we are between high and low criteria we start stage 2 processing 2) person selects only those features of the test item and the target concept with high weights and determines whether each highly weighted feature of the target matches such a feature of the test item. If all such features match, the item is a member of the concept, otherwise it is not

Dimensional Approach

representation of a concept as a summary description that applies to all instances concept representation depicts the average or mean dimension values for the entire class With means we can have something that is a member of the concept that looks like nothing that we see every day Relationship between any two concepts or instances of concepts can be judged based solely on distance estimates

Simple Distance Model

relation between any pair of concepts or its instances is given by the distance between points and a multidimensional representation.

1) any dimension used to represent a concept must be a salient one with at least some of its values having a high probability of occurring in instances of the concept. 2) the value of a dimension represented in a concept is the subjective (an interpretation) average of the values of the concept's subsets or instances on that dimension 3) Non necessary dimensions can be included like non-necessary features 4) Weights are also used, and each weight indicates the importance of variations in the associated dimension of concept membership. 5) Concepts with same relevant dimensions can be represented as points in a multidimensional metric space. Must have minimality, symmetry, and triangular inequality. 1) anything that fall in the threshold difference is in the category 2) there is no decomposition of concepts into features. 3) The closer item x is to concept Y the faster and more accurately X will be categorized as a member of Y. We don’t need defining features because we only care about distances. Assumption 1: An entity, x, is categorized as an instance or a subset of concept Y iff the metric distance between x and Y is less than that between X and any concept that contrasts with Y. Assumption 2: The greater the difference in the distance between X and Y on the one hand, and x in any contrast of Y on the other hand, the faster and more accurately x will be categorized as a member of Y.

The closer item x is to concept Y the faster and more accurately X will be categorized as a member of Y. shorter distance = more typical.

Unclear cases are on the imit (border) of the distance threshold

disjunctive concepts. (everything has relevant dimensions, doesnt matter if is large or small) dont need same dimensional values as long as we're in a relevant dimension

Comparative Distance Model

Simple distance model doesn't consider influence of contrasting concepts. We need a model that compares distance with test item (target concept) and the distance between the test item and any item that might contrast with the target.

Holistic Approach
Concepts are represented by their exemplars, at least in part. Rather than by an abstract summary. Can be a specific instance or a subset of a category 1) representation of a concept consists of separate descriptions of some of its exemplars either instances or subsets. 2) Exemplars themselves can be represented in different ways. it partly depends on whether the exemplars are subsets or specific instances. 3) If the exemplar is an instance, it must be represented by the property description. If concepts are represented by their exemplars, is there room for abstraction at all? Often term exemplar is used ambiguously

Exemplar View

Proximity Model

each concept is represented by all of its instances, all of its instances that I have ever encountered. Violates all three of summary representation assumptions

The concept representation is lacking in abstraction, what comes to mind is a specific exemplar that exists in the world. Every exemplar in the representation is realizable as an instance the information that you retrieve when making a decision about a particular concept membership varies with the test item presented

Model leaves no room for abstraction Drawback: sheer amount of suff that I have to store! having to index through it all the time would slow us down, this doesn't seem logical, saying that we are cognitively lazy

Best Examples Model

way of constraining what comes to mind Representation of a concept is restricted to exemplars that are typical of the concept: focal instances Exemplars represented are the ones that share some criterial number of properties with other exemplars in the concept. they have some critical family resemblance score.

Any entity is categorized as an instance or a subset of a category iff that entity retrieves a criterial number of the concepts exemplars before retrieving a criterial number of exemplars from any contrasting concept. The probability that this entity retrieves any specific exemplar is a direct function of the similarity of that entity and the exemplar it retrieves Categorization is accurate to the extent the test probe is similar to the concept. This is an indictive process: we are inducing (bringing things in and building) rather than deducing. non-necessary features: they are ALL non-necessary features because this is an exemplar approach

Typicality Effects: Reach criteria faster for typical than atypical. Typical instances have more property overlap.

Unclear Cases: Can be unclear case because fails to reach criteria number exemplars for any concept or reaches criteria number for two concepts at same time

Disjunctive Concepts: each concept representation is explicity disjunctive. An item that belongs to a concept if it matches exemplar x, y, it doesn't have to match them all. Only has to match one. Doesn't have to match everything. There isnt any defining anything

Context Model

Exemplar based model Abstraction based on context Differences from the exemplar model 1) deals with learning of exemplar model 2) deals with computation of similarity in the categorization process Agree on categorization and conceptual combinatives

All Three

Functional differences between metric, dimensional approaches and featural approaches: 1) Representation of properties is different: continuous dimensions vs discrete features 2) Basis of abstracted representation: one uses dimensional value, other uses modal feature 3) Processing strategy is different: one is comparison of distance computation, other is sum of weights SIMILARITIES: featural vs dimensional 1) both still probabilistic approaches - everything doesn't have to be there 2) explain use of non-necessary features in the same way and they deal with the difficulty in specifying defining properties in the same way by using representations that require only non-necessary properties 3) Both approaches allow for degrees of disjunctiveness by permitting different combinations of properties to yield the same threshold quantity. weighted feature sum in featural approach and distances in dimensional approach 4) Dealing with uncare cases - construe unclear cases very similarly. These are items that do not quite reach the threshold quantity or are equally close to thresholds of one or more concepts. could be weighted feature sum or distances 5) Explain many simple typicality affects by assuming that the typicality of a member reflects how similar its properties are or how close it is to its parent concept. 6) Data on nested triples: Assume that properties of most concepts are more similar to those of the immediate than the distant superordinate (what classical view says) Dimensional and featural can account for exceptions because of idea of weighted sum. Chicken can reach necessary threshold for animal before bird. 7) Both can explain the use of contrast concepts by considering the relation between a test item and the target concept and the test item and its contrast concept. Done implicitly in featural approach: Given these, featural and dimensional can explain a lot of the same stuff.

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