Concepts and Transformational Knowledge

Safa R. Zaki, Donald Homa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The effect of exposure to principled change in concept formation was investigated in four experiments. In Experiment 1, participants were trained on either patterns that transformed systematically or control patterns that were distorted randomly. Training on transformational patterns produced concepts that were more resistant to false intrusions and decay. Experiment 2 separated the relative influences of transformational knowledge and pairwise similarity. Participants were able to identify the next pattern in a transformational sequence even though the foils were closer to the training patterns. Experiment 3 investigated whether participants use transformational information in a speeded categorization task. Participants were faster at classifying patterns that continued a transformational path than patterns that fell off the path, only if they had trained on the transformational patterns in a systematic order. Experiment 4 used multidimensional scaling to explore the psychological structure of transformational knowledge following training. Analyses revealed clear evidence of a transformational path with systematic training. Implications for theories of similarity and categorization are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-115
Number of pages47
JournalCognitive Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Artificial Intelligence


Dive into the research topics of 'Concepts and Transformational Knowledge'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this