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Prototype or Exemplar : can semantic representations in the brain predict word categorization?

Elsasser, P.L. (2020) Prototype or Exemplar : can semantic representations in the brain predict word categorization?

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Abstract:Categorizing and relating concepts play a crucial role in the way we view and interact with the world. They give insights into the human mind and are essential in human reasoning. Regarding categorization, exemplar and prototype theory have remained prominent views. However, it is not clear which theory applies best when words are categorized. As semantic memory forms the basis of categorization, this thesis took the perspective of brain activation and, more specifically, semantic representations in the brain, to find out if exemplars or prototypes apply. For that, findings by Huth, de Heer, Griffiths, Theunissen, and Gallant (2016) were taken for further study. In their experiment, 11 word categories were found based on brain activation. The current research used items from these categories in a card sorting task to compare how participants would group them manually. Results showed that overall semantic representations in the brain are not able to predict manual word categorization. Further, participants created small and specific groups which indicates that word categorization is based on exemplars and not prototypes. Keywords: categorization, exemplar theory, prototype theory, semantic memory, brain activation, card sorting
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/82382
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