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Conceptual combination: Conjunction and negation of natural concepts

Hampton, J. A. (1997). Conceptual combination: Conjunction and negation of natural concepts. Memory & Cognition, 25(6), pp. 888-909.

Abstract

The operation of negation on combinations of natural categories was examined in two experiments. In the first, category membership ratings of lists of items were obtained for pairs of concepts considered individually and in two logical combinations: conjunctions (e.g., "Tools which are also Weapons") and negated conjunctions-forms of those conjunctions in which the modifier noun category was negated ("Tools which are not Weapons"). For conjunctions, results supported earlier findings of overextension and the geometric averaging of constituent membership values (Hampton, 1988b). Previous findings of concept dominance and noncommutativity within conjunctions were also replicated, both for typicality ratings and for probability of class membership. For negated conjunctions, the pattern of dominance was similar but interacted with order within the conjunction. Negated conjunctions were also overextended. The second experiment explored how the attributes of negated conjunctions were derived from those of the two component concepts. Frequency of generation of attributes expressed positively (has wheels) or negatively (has no wheels) followed rated frequency in the negated category. The distinctiveness of an attribute to distinguish the complement from the head-noun class was associated with the generation of attributes, particularly when there was relatively high overlap between the two categories.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: PROTOTYPE THEORY, FUZZY-SETS, CATEGORIES, SIMILARITY, OVEREXTENSION, TYPICALITY, DOMINANCE, MODEL
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: School of Arts & Social Sciences > Psychology
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/995
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