Contrasting the representation of scripts and categories

Barsalou, L. W. and Sewell, D. R. (1985) Contrasting the representation of scripts and categories. Journal of Memory and Language, 24(6), pp. 646-665. (doi: 10.1016/0749-596X(85)90051-8)

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Recent findings have suggested that script actions are not sequentially organized in memory. Instead investigators have argued that (1) the positions of actions within scripts are represented by temporal properties stored with actions, this being analogous to how properties represent the size, color, and other characteristics of exemplars in categories, and (2) actions are organized by centrality in scripts, this being analogous to how exemplars are organized by typicality in categories. To compare the representation of scripts and categories, this study observed timed production of script actions and category exemplars. Subjects generated actions from scripts either in whatever order they came to mind, from most to least central, from first to last, or from last to first. Subjects generated exemplars from categories either in whatever order they came to mind, from most to least typical, from smallest to largest, or from largest to smallest. The results clearly demonstrated that script actions are sequentially organized in memory and that properties are not the means by which script actions are normally ordered during production. The results are also not consistent with the view that ease of production simply depends on the efficiency of retrieval strategies. It is concluded that scripts and categories share invariant properties of abstract representations and that their differences reflect constraints associated with their respective domains.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Barsalou, Professor Lawrence
Authors: Barsalou, L. W., and Sewell, D. R.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Journal Name:Journal of Memory and Language
Publisher:Academic Press
ISSN (Online):1096-0821

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