Ad hoc categories

Barsalou, L. W. (1983) Ad hoc categories. Memory and Cognition, 11(3), pp. 211-227. (doi: 10.3758/BF03196968) (PMID:6621337)

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People construct ad hoc categories to achieve goals. For example, constructing the category of “things to sell at a garage sale” can be instrumental to achieving the goal of selling unwanted possessions. These categories differ from common categories (e.g., “fruit,” “furniture”) in that ad hoc categories violate the correlational structure of the environment and are not well established in memory. Regarding the latter property, the category concepts, concept-to-instance associations, and instance-to-concept associations structuring ad hoc categories are shown to be much less established in memory than those of common categories. Regardless of these differences, however, ad hoc categories possess graded structures (i.e., typicality gradients) as salient as those structuring common categories. This appears to be the result of a similarity comparison process that imposes graded structure on any category regardless of type.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Barsalou, Professor Lawrence
Authors: Barsalou, L. W.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Journal Name:Memory and Cognition
ISSN (Online):1532-5946
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 1983 Psychonomic Society, Inc.
First Published:First published in Memory & Cognition 11(3):211-227
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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