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Predicting Category Intuitiveness With the Rational Model, the Simplicity Model, and the Generalized Context Model

Pothos, E. M. and Bailey, T. M. (2009). Predicting Category Intuitiveness With the Rational Model, the Simplicity Model, and the Generalized Context Model. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition, 35(4), pp. 1062-1080. doi: 10.1037/a0015903

Abstract

Naïve observers typically perceive some groupings for a set of stimuli as more intuitive than others. The problem of predicting category intuitiveness has been historically considered the remit of models of unsupervised categorization. In contrast, this article develops a measure of category intuitiveness from one of the most widely supported models of supervised categorization, the generalized context model (GCM). Considering different category assignments for a set of instances, the authors asked how well the GCM can predict the classification of each instance on the basis of all the other instances. The category assignment that results in the smallest prediction error is interpreted as the most intuitive for the GCM—the authors refer to this way of applying the GCM as “unsupervised GCM.” The authors systematically compared predictions of category intuitiveness from the unsupervised GCM and two models of unsupervised categorization: the simplicity model and the rational model. The unsupervised GCM compared favorably with the simplicity model and the rational model. This success of the unsupervised GCM illustrates that the distinction between supervised and unsupervised categorization may need to be reconsidered. However, no model emerged as clearly superior, indicating that there is more work to be done in understanding and modeling category intuitiveness.

Publication Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: School of Arts & Social Sciences > Psychology
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/1974
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