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1. Introduction The distinction between rules and similarity is at the heart

Summary: 1. Introduction
The distinction between rules and similarity is at the heart
of cognitive psychology. This is hardly surprising given the
strong intuitive sense of rules operations versus similarity
ones. For example, few researchers would claim that rules
are not involved when "we recognize why 24,683 is an odd
number, and why Priscilla Presley is a grandmother (Arm-
strong et al. 1983), know that an offspring of raccoons that
looks and acts like a skunk is nonetheless not a skunk (Keil
1989), joke that one cannot be a little pregnant" (Marcus et
al. 1995, p. 245). By contrast, in similarity judgments there
is nearly always a sense of more flexibility, less certainty, and
more emphasis on individual memories (Sloman & Rips
1998). Research across cognitive psychology has led to sev-
eral formalisms for understanding the rules versus similar-
ity distinction. A common thesis in most of these for-
malisms is that rules and similarity are separate (in a way
that will be explained shortly). The aim of this paper is to
argue against this thesis and propose that rules operations
are simply a special case of similarity ones.


Source: Ashby, F. Gregory - Department of Psychology, University of California at Santa Barbara


Collections: Biology and Medicine; Computer Technologies and Information Sciences