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Salience Not Status: How Category Labels Influence Feature Inference

Johansen, MK; Savage, J; Fouquet, N; Shanks, DR; (2014) Salience Not Status: How Category Labels Influence Feature Inference. Cognitive Science , 39 (7) pp. 1594-1621. 10.1111/cogs.12206. Green open access

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Abstract

Two main uses of categories are classification and feature inference, and category labels have been widely shown to play a dominant role in feature inference. However, the nature of this influence remains unclear, and we evaluate two contrasting hypotheses formalized as mathematical models: the label special-mechanism hypothesis and the label super-salience hypothesis. The special-mechanism hypothesis is that category labels, unlike other features, trigger inference decision making in reference to the category prototypes. This results in a tendency for prototype-compatible inferences because the labels trigger a special mechanism rather than because of any influences they have on similarity evaluation. The super-salience hypothesis assumes that the large label influence is due to their high salience and corresponding impact on similarity without any need for a special mechanism. Application of the two models to a feature inference task based on a family resemblance category structure yields strong support for the label super-salience hypothesis and in particular does not support the need for a special mechanism based on prototypes.

Type: Article
Title: Salience Not Status: How Category Labels Influence Feature Inference
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/cogs.12206
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cogs.12206
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2014 Cognitive Science Society, Inc. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Classification, Concepts, Decision making, Feature inference
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1457199
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