Knowledge representations acquired during category learning experiments are ‘tuned’ to the task goal. A useful paradigm to study category representations is indirect category learning. In the present article, we propose a new indirect categorization task called the “Same” – “Different” categorization task. The same-different categorization task is a regular same-different task, but the question asked to the participants is about the stimulus category membership instead of stimulus identity. Experiment 1 explores the possibility of indirectly learning rule-based and information-integration category structures using the new paradigm. The results suggest that there is little learning about the category structures resulting from an indirect categorization task unless the categories can be separated by a one-dimensional rule. Experiment 2 explores whether a category representation learned indirectly can be used in a direct classification task (and viceversa). The results suggest that previous categorical knowledge acquired during a direct classification task can be expressed in the same-different categorization task only when the categories can be separated by a rule that is easily verbalized. Implications of these results for categorization research are discussed.


The final publication is available at link.springer.com - http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00426-011-0348-1.


indirect category learning, categorization, same-different task, COVIS.

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