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Blocking in Category Learning

Bott, Lewis, Hoffman, Aaron and Murphy, Gregory L. 2007. Blocking in Category Learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology General 136 (4) , pp. 685-699. 10.1037/0096-3445.136.4.685

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Many theories of category learning assume that learning is driven by a need to minimize classification error. When there is no classification error, therefore, learning of individual features should be negligible. The authors tested this hypothesis by conducting three category-learning experiments adapted from an associative learning blocking paradigm. Contrary to an error-driven account of learning, participants learned a wide range of information when they learned about categories, and blocking effects were difficult to obtain. Conversely, when participants learned to predict an outcome in a task with the same formal structure and materials, blocking effects were robust and followed the predictions of error-driven learning. The authors discuss their findings in relation to models of category learning and the usefulness of category knowledge in the environment. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Publisher: American Psychological Association
ISSN: 1939-2222
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 01:49

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