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Premise typicality as feature inference decision-making in perceptual categories

Morgan, Emma L. and Johansen, Mark K. 2021. Premise typicality as feature inference decision-making in perceptual categories. Memory and Cognition 10.3758/s13421-021-01240-8

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Making property inferences for category instances is important and has been studied in two largely separate areas—categorical induction and perceptual categorization. Categorical induction has a corpus of well-established effects using complex, real-world categories; however, the representational basis of these effects is unclear. In contrast, the perceptual categorization paradigm has fostered the assessment of well-specified representation models due to its controlled stimuli and categories. In categorical induction, evaluations of premise typicality effects, stronger attribute generalization from typical category instances than from atypical, have tried to control the similarity between instances to be distinct from premise–conclusion similarity effects, stronger generalization from greater similarity. However, the extent to which similarity has been controlled is unclear for these complex stimuli. Our research embedded analogues of categorical induction effects in perceptual categories, notably premise typicality and premise conclusion similarity, in an attempt to clarify the category representation underlying feature inference. These experiments controlled similarity between instances using overlap of a small number of constrained features. Participants made inferences for test cases using displayed sets of category instances. The results showed typicality effects, premise–conclusion similarity effects, but no evidence of premise typicality effects (i.e., no preference for generalizing features from typical over atypical category instances when similarity was controlled for), with significant Bayesian support for the null. As typicality effects occurred and occur widely in the perceptual categorization paradigm, why was premise typicality absent? We discuss possible reasons. For attribute inference, is premise typicality distinct from instance similarity? These initial results suggest not.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Psychology
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher: Springer Verlag
ISSN: 0090-502X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 20 September 2021
Date of Acceptance: 10 September 2021
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2021 18:56

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