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Prototypes and The Typicality Effect. Psychology 452-Senior Seminar Markieta Rose. Background-Prototypes. Prototypes are introduced in the world of Cognitive Science with The Network Approach Mind as a Web Focuses on principles of operation and organization within the brain. Prototypes.

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Prototypes and The Typicality Effect

Psychology 452-Senior Seminar

Markieta Rose


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Background-Prototypes

  • Prototypes are introduced in the world of Cognitive Science with The Network Approach

  • Mind as a Web

  • Focuses on principles of operation and organization within the brain


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Prototypes

  • Are defined as a generic or idealized representation of a conceptual category.

  • Part of Collins and Quillian study (1969) focusing on a hierarchical semantic network


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Collins and Quillian (1969)

  • Method: sentence variation task [T/F]

    • “A canary is a bird”

    • “A canary is a animal”

  • The answer was dependent upon activation of both “bird” nodes and “animal” nodes”

  • Activation radiates out through the network until the nodes overlap

  • Once the nodes overlap, the participant knows that the two are related

  • Reaction Time


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Prototypes ctd.

  • Animal>Bird>Canary [Hierarchical]

  • Corresponding nodes may be:

    • Can sing

    • Can fly

    • Yellow

  • Canary=Bird is likely to be recognized faster than Canary=yellow

  • Thus the prototype (categorization) is Canary=Bird


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Prototypes ctd.

  • A bird such as a robin is though of as being more representative or prototypical of the category of birds than another type of bird, for example, the penguin. (247)


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Background-The Typicality Effect

  • The Typicality Effect is introduced into the Cognitive World in the Evolutionary Approach

  • Evolution and Cognitive Processes

    • Categorization (The Typicality Effect)

    • Memory

    • Logical reasoning

    • Judgment under certainty

    • Language


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Categorization

  • Mental categories as “either-or”

  • Categories are typically continuous

  • Can range from being very representative and prototypical to unrepresentative and being mixed up with a different category


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Typicality Effect

  • The phenomenon that human participants are faster to judge stereotypical members as belonging to a category

  • A bird such as a canary is though of as being more representative or prototypical of the category of birds than another type of bird, for example, the penguin. (247)

    • Our typical idea of a bird is something that is small, sings, flies

    • Therefore, a canary is more typical of a bird than a penguin


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What purpose do typicality-based categories serve?

  • There must have been a selective advantage

    • The Advantage: “if we know something about an item of which we have had experience, then it becomes possible to form judgments that have to do with related items” (248)

  • Past experiences are beneficial

  • Generalize from what we know to what we do not know


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Reference

Friedenberg, J. & Silverman, G. (2006) Cognitive Science: An Introduction to the Study of the Mind. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.