Comprehending Complex Concepts

Comprehending Complex Concepts Recent theories of concepts have raised the issue of how people combine simple concepts (like engine and repair) to form complex concepts (like engine repair). This article approaches this issue by asking how people comprehend modified noun phrases of this sort. One explanation of how complex concepts are understood (the feature weighting model) provides a simple mechanism in which the primary feature of the modifying concept is made more salient in the modified concept. Another explanation focuses on how world knowledge directs the combination process. The two explanations are compared in their ability to account for the interpretation of various kinds of noun phrases. Two experiments are reported which evaluate the feature weighting model's predictions for adjective‐noun phrases. These contrasts suggest that the combination process does require reference to world knowledge. The consequences of accepting such an account are discussed. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Cognitive Science - A Multidisciplinary Journal Wiley

Comprehending Complex Concepts

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
© 1988 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
ISSN
0364-0213
eISSN
1551-6709
D.O.I.
10.1207/s15516709cog1204_2
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Recent theories of concepts have raised the issue of how people combine simple concepts (like engine and repair) to form complex concepts (like engine repair). This article approaches this issue by asking how people comprehend modified noun phrases of this sort. One explanation of how complex concepts are understood (the feature weighting model) provides a simple mechanism in which the primary feature of the modifying concept is made more salient in the modified concept. Another explanation focuses on how world knowledge directs the combination process. The two explanations are compared in their ability to account for the interpretation of various kinds of noun phrases. Two experiments are reported which evaluate the feature weighting model's predictions for adjective‐noun phrases. These contrasts suggest that the combination process does require reference to world knowledge. The consequences of accepting such an account are discussed.

Journal

Cognitive Science - A Multidisciplinary JournalWiley

Published: Oct 1, 1988

References

  • Categorization and representation of physics problems by experts and novices
    Chi, Chi; Feltovich, Feltovich; Glaser, Glaser
  • Conceptual combination with prototype concepts
    Smith, Smith; Osherson, Osherson

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