Categorization: The View from Animal Cognition
AbstractExemplar, prototype, and rule theory have organized much of the enormous literature on categorization. From this theoretical foundation have arisen the two primary debates in the literature—the prototype-exemplar debate and the single system-multiple systems debate. We review these theories and debates. Then, we examine the contribution that animal-cognition studies have made to them. Animals have been crucial behavioral ambassadors to the literature on categorization. They reveal the roots of human categorization, the basic assumptions of vertebrates entering category tasks, the surprising weakness of exemplar memory as a category-learning strategy. They show that a unitary exemplar theory of categorization is insufficient to explain human and animal categorization. They show that a multiple-systems theoretical account—encompassing exemplars, prototypes, and rules—will be required for a complete explanation. They show the value of a fitness perspective in understanding categorization, and the value of giving categorization an evolutionary depth and phylogenetic breadth. They raise important questions about the internal similarity structure of natural kinds and categories. They demonstrate strong continuities with humans in categorization, but discontinuities, too. Categorization’s great debates are resolving themselves, and to these resolutions animals have made crucial contributions. View Full-Text
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Smith, J.D.; Zakrzewski, A.C.; Johnson, J.M.; Valleau, J.C.; Church, B.A. Categorization: The View from Animal Cognition. Behav. Sci. 2016, 6, 12.
Smith JD, Zakrzewski AC, Johnson JM, Valleau JC, Church BA. Categorization: The View from Animal Cognition. Behavioral Sciences. 2016; 6(2):12.Chicago/Turabian Style
Smith, J. D.; Zakrzewski, Alexandria C.; Johnson, Jennifer M.; Valleau, Jeanette C.; Church, Barbara A. 2016. "Categorization: The View from Animal Cognition." Behav. Sci. 6, no. 2: 12.
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