The Handbook of Cognition provides a definitive synthesis of the most up-to-date and advanced work in cognitive psychology in a single volume. The editors have gathered together a team of world-leading researchers in specialist areas of the field, both traditional and `hot' new areas, to present a benchmark - in terms of theoretical insight and advances in methodology - of the discipline. This book contains a thorough overview of the most significant and current research in cognitive psychology that will serve this academic community like no other volume.
Chapter 7: Category Learning
What have we here? a man or a fish? dead or alive? A fish: he smells like a fish; a very ancient and fish-like smell; a kind of not of the newest Poor-John. A strange fish!
Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act II, Scene II, line 22; spoken by Trinculo
Beachcombers categorize flotsam as man or fish. Players of 20 questions categorize things as animal, vegetable or mineral. Guards categorize approaches as friend or foe. Bystanders categorize flying objects: ‘Look, up in the sky! It's a bird; it's a plane! No, it's Superman!’ Categorization permeates cognition in myriad protean variations. Our categorization of an object we encounter determines what we do with it. If it is an old dead fish, we ...