Influence of manipulated category knowledge on prototype classification and recognition

Donald Homa, Barbara Goldhardt, Lori Burruel-Homa, J. Carson Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The recognition and classification of category members was explored, following a variable number of learning trials. In Experiment 1, subjects received 1 or 9 learning trials, followed by a recognition-then-classification test containing old, new, prototype, and foil patterns. In Experiment 2, subjects received 1, 6, or 12 trials, and made either classification or recognition judgments. In each experiment, classification accuracy for all item types was at near-chance -performance after a single trial but steadily increased with increased learning trials. On the transfer test, oldness judgments were highest for the category prototype after a single trial. However, with increased learning trials, oldness judgments increased for old instances and decreased for the category prototype and new instances. We suggest that false recognition of the category prototype, especially after a single learning trial, need not reflect an abstraction process. We discuss the possibility that an abstracted prototype may emerge with additional learning as an unfamiliar, ideal point.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)529-538
Number of pages10
JournalMemory & Cognition
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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