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Role of Category Structure in Human Information Processing

by Sempson, Stephen

Abstract (Summary)
This investigation will use this ability in a different way. Studies have shown that a category can create a grade structure of prototypical items. We will take a graded structure generated by a category, and see if we can recreate the category based on presenting prototypical examples in a variety of ways. Five different sampling techniques will be used to determine which one is the best for category reconstruction. Since the items themselves have bits of information about the category, the number of samples presented will also be manipulated to determine if this is a factor in determining the category.

The independent variables investigated were: sampling technique, and prompt conditions. In determining the effect of the independent variables on matching a category, the independent variables were also considered as mediating variables of each other. The method of opportunistic sampling was used for the surveys. The main participants were undergraduate 3rd year students taking a MSci 311 course at the University of Waterloo.

Results indicate that there was no statistical significance. Fluctuations in significance levels indicate some random findings. Participants are not discriminating the samples or prompts which were given. This research is a contribution to this field because little research has been conducted in this area and implications are drawn for future research on the saliency of a category or attribute that can vary by context or knowledge

Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:University of Waterloo

School Location:Canada - Ontario

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:category structure gradient typicality prototype management sciences

ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2006

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