A category exists whenever two or more distinguishable objects or events are treated equivalently. This equivalent treatment may take any number of forms, such as labeling distinct objects or events with the same name, or performing the same action on different objects. Stimulus situations are unique, but organisms do not treat them uniquely; they respond on the basis of past learning and categorization. In this sense, categorization may be considered one of the most basic functions of living creatures. The last chapters on concept formation in the Annual Review of PsyÂ chology (Neimark & Santa 1975. Erickson & Jones 1978) treated concepts (categories) as part of the study of problem solving within the general field of psychological learning theory. Meanwhile, an essentially new field of research and theory concerning concepts and categories has emerged, fed 0066-4308/8110201-0089$01.00 MERVIS & ROSCH by two major trends: 1 . The study of naturalistic categories (for example, "red," "chair") particularly as influenced by input from anthropology, philosophy, and developmental psychology. 2. The modeling of natural concepts in the field called semantic memory, an area greatly influenced by artificial intelligence. This chapter is a selective review of these newer developments. First a word about
Annual Review of Psychology – Annual Reviews
Published: Feb 1, 1981
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