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, 31 (6), 1433-58

Category Representation for Classification and Feature Inference


Category Representation for Classification and Feature Inference

Mark K Johansen et al. J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn.


This research's purpose was to contrast the representations resulting from learning of the same categories by either classifying instances or inferring instance features. Prior inference learning research, particularly T. Yamauchi and A. B. Markman (1998), has suggested that feature inference learning fosters prototype representation, whereas classification learning encourages exemplar representation. Experiment 1 supported this hypothesis. Averaged and individual participant data from transfer after inference training were better fit by a prototype than by an exemplar model. However, Experiment 2, with contrasting inference learning conditions, indicated that the prototype model was mimicking a set of label-based bidirectional rules, as determined by the inference learning task demands in Experiment 1. Only the set of rules model accounted for all the inference learning conditions in these experiments.

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