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Semantic Memory. -concepts and facts. -several similar models describe the organization of semantic memory. 1) Collins & Quillian’s Hierarchical Network Model. -nodes to represent individual items, ideas, organized hierarchically. -nodes are connected by propositions (has, isa , can).

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slide1

Semantic Memory

-concepts and facts

-several similar models describe the organization of semantic memory

1) Collins & Quillian’s Hierarchical Network Model

-nodes to represent individual items, ideas, organized hierarchically

-nodes are connected by propositions (has, isa, can)

-where information ends up depends on cognitive economy

Evidence: takes longer to respond the further the item is from a property or category:

Categories:

“A canary is a bird”

versus

“A canary is an animal”

“A canary can sing”

versus

can fly

versus

has skin

slide2

Semantic Memory

-problems:

1) “no” responses should take longer than “yes”, but they don’t

2) Typicality effects: “A turkey is a bird” takes significantly longer than robin

3) Mounting evidence against the categorical hierarchy

-e.g. Animals—mammals—pig should be the hierarchy from top to bottom

-takes longer to confirm pig is a mammal relative to pig being animal (might just be typicality again, though)

-e.g.2: an animal can move,

a fish can move,

a shark can move

“feeling”=introspection

slide3

Semantic Memory

2) Collins & Loftus’ “Spreading Activation” model

-no hierarchy

-’distance’ function to account for typicality

-nodes activate nearby connected ones

-if there is overlap in activation, you say “yes”, if not, you say “no”

-organization based on experience, typicality, learning

-difficult to test

slide4

Semantic Memory

3) Smith et al’s “Feature Comparison” model

-no network

-information for items is kept in the form of a “feature list”

-comparison is made based on overlap between two lists; greater overlap=faster RT

-two kinds of features: defining and characteristic

-also two kinds of comparison: Stage 1 is a “global comparison” of features to get an overlap score

-if very high or low, response occurs (rapid RT)

-if intermediate, a Stage 2 comparison of just defining features takes place

-can handle typicality:

-a robin is a bird engages Stage 1, whereas a turkey is a bird necessitates Stage 2

-can handle rapid “no” responses:

“a robin is a bulldozer”= almost no overlap, hence rapid response

slide5

Semantic Memory

3) Smith et al’s “Feature Comparison” model

-no network

-information for items is kept in the form of a “feature list”

-comparison is made based on overlap between two lists; greater overlap=faster RT

-two kinds of features: defining and characteristic

-also two kinds of comparison: Stage 1 is a “global comparison” of features to get an overlap score

-if very high or low, response occurs (rapid RT)

-if intermediate, a Stage 2 comparison of just defining features takes place

-can handle typicality:

-a robin is a bird engages Stage 1, whereas a turkey is a bird necessitates Stage 2

-can handle rapid “no” responses:

“a robin is a bulldozer”= almost no overlap, hence rapid response

Problems:

1) Lack of economy

2) Lack of explanation concerning what features are defining versus characteristic

Problem with ALL the theories so far:

Assymetric similarity

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