Is there an exemplar theory of concepts?

Gregory Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

It is common to describe two main theories of concepts: prototype theories, which rely on some form of summary description of a category, and exemplar theories, which claim that concepts are represented as remembered category instances. This article reviews a number of important phenomena in the psychology of concepts, arguing that they have no proposed exemplar explanation. In some of these cases, it is difficult to see how an exemplar theory would be adequate. The article concludes that exemplars are certainly important in some categorization judgments and in category-learning experiments, but that there is no exemplar theory of human concepts in a broad sense.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jun 9 2016

Fingerprint

Learning
Psychology
Exemplar Theory
Category Learning
Prototype Theory
Category Theory
Summary
Experiment

Keywords

  • Categories
  • Categorization
  • Concepts
  • Induction
  • Semantic memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Cite this

Is there an exemplar theory of concepts? / Murphy, Gregory.

In: Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 09.06.2016, p. 1-8.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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