Conceptual interrelatedness and caricatures

Goldstone, R. L., Steyvers, M., & Rogosky, B. J. (2003). Conceptual interrelatedness and caricatures.  Memory & Cognition, 31, 169-180.

Concepts are interrelated to the extent that the characterization each concept is influenced by the other concepts, and isolated to the extent that the characterization of one concept is independent of other concepts.  The relative categorization accuracy of the prototype and caricature of a concept can be used as a measure of concept interrelatedness.  The prototype is the central tendency of a concept, whereas a caricature deviates from the concept’s central tendency in the direction opposite to the central tendency of other acquired concepts.  The prototype is predicted to be relatively well categorized when a concept is relatively independent of other concepts, but the caricature is predicted to be relatively well categorized when a concept is highly related to other concepts.  Support for these predictions comes from manipulations of the labels given to simultaneously acquired concepts (Experiment 1) and the order of categories during learning (Experiment 2).

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