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1 Introduction Since the 1970s, it has been theorised that possessing graded structure characterises
 

Summary: 1 Introduction
Since the 1970s, it has been theorised that possessing graded structure characterises
natural categories (Rosch 1975). Instead of being all equivalent, some members of a
category are more representative or more typical of the category than others. For
instance, robins are better birds than penguins, and some `reds' are better `reds' than
others (Rosch 1973). More recent work has confirmed that graded structure is a uni-
versal property of categories but that the resulting typicality gradient differs from one
culture to another as a function of cultural familiarity with the various exemplars of
the category (Bailenson et al 2002; Lynch et al 2000; Schwanenflugel and Rey 1986). The
research on graded structure has been devoted to a broad variety of categories includ-
ing natural taxonomic categories such as fruit, furniture, or animal species (eg Burnett
et al 2005; Lynch et al 2000; Storms et al 2001), colour categories (eg Jameson and
Alvarado 2003; Roberson et al 2000), artificial categories (eg Johansen and Palmeri
2002; Smith and Minda 2002), or goal-derived categories (ie abstract categories that
people construct to serve goals) such as things to eat on a diet, things to pack in a
suitcase, etc (eg Ratneshwar et al 2001).
While graded structure constitutes a powerful framework to better understand
how people from different cultures perceive and organise information about the world,
one can wonder to what degree this approach can be extended to all types of percep-
tual objects. Here we investigated whether graded structure can provide a plausible

  

Source: Abdi, Hervé - School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, University of Texas at Dallas

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine; Computer Technologies and Information Sciences