S503 Week 3 Categorization Discussion

If I were to categorize this week’s readings, I would categorize them as “articles written by scientists who need to go back and take a writing class to learn how to adequately express their ideas.” I categorized these readings using the prototype theory, comparing this sentence (and many others):

“And given an actor with the motor programs for sitting, it is a fact of the perceived world that objects with the perceptual attributes of chairs are more likely to have functional sit-on-able-ness (emphasis mine) than objects with the appearance of cats,”

against an idealized representation of a sentence, such as: “One is more likely to be able to sit on something that seems to be like a chair than something that looks like a cat, if one is able to sit at all,” constructing my summary representation from my concrete experience of well-written articles I have read in the past.(Albee & Yoon, 20)

Although I understand the point being made, and I guess I can agree to use the scholarly jargon, when Rosch states “The basic level of abstraction is that level of abstraction that is appropriate for using, thinking about, or naming an object in most situations in which the object occurs,” she is using the word “basic” in a manner that is contrary to the actual meaning of the word, especially in regard to a hierarchical categorical structure. She places the “basic level of abstraction” at the second level of the hierarchy from abstract to concrete meaning. Something that is “basic” is at the base of a structure. It can’t be in the middle or between two other things. Rosch’s use of the word “basic” does not meet the formal defining features of a “basic” category, not only under the definitional theory of categorization, (Albee & Yoon, 19) but also considering that her use of “basic,” by her own system of categorization, could not be categorized at the “basic level of abstraction,” as that is not how the word “basic” is most often used. (Rosch, 18)

My categorization of the readings as poorly written allowed me to predict that I would spend more time deciphering the made-up language their authors used than I had time to spare. Categorization also “reduce(d) the complexity of the learning environment” by directing my activities toward “identify(ing) objects, topics, and tasks” that would be most useful to learning this week’s material. (Albee & Yoon, 8) I was then able to determine that I should skim the topic sentences of each paragraph, try to discern the main points of each section of each article, and rely mostly on the week’s summary presentation.

I did, however, find “Categorization of Foods as Snack and Meal” a useful example of the ideas expressed in the other articles. Thus, I would not categorize it with the other two.

Albee, B., & Yoon, A. (2015). Week 3. Cognitive Representation: Categorization. [PowerPoint Slides]. Retrieved from https://oncourse.iu.edu/access/content/group/FA15-IN-LIS-S503-32128/Week%203%3A%20Jan.%2026%20-%20Jan.%2030/Presentation_Summaries/Week3%20reading%20summaries%20rev.pptx

Rosch, E., & Lloyd, B. B., Eds. (1978). Cognition and categorization. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Retrieved from http://www.tamaraberg.com/teaching/Fall_13/papers/Cognition&Categorization.pdf

Spalding, T. L., & Murphy, G. L. (1999). What is learned in knowledge-related categories? Evidence from typicality and feature frequency judgments. Memory & Cognition, 27(5), 856-867.

Wadhera, D., & Capaldi, E. (2012). Categorization of foods as snack and meal. Appetite, 58(3), 882-888

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