Prototype theory

That is, concept x is composed of simpler concepts that describe necessary and sufficient conditions for being a member of x. For example, a triangle may be defined as a "three-sided polygon" where a shape is a triangle if and only if it satisfies the condition of being both a polygon and being three-sided.

Prototype theory

Overview[ edit ] As formulated Prototype theory the s by Eleanor Rosch and others[ citation needed ]prototype theory was a radical departure from traditional necessary and sufficient conditions as in Aristotelian logicwhich led to set-theoretic approaches of extensional or intensional semantics.

Prototype theory - RationalWiki

Thus instead of a definition based model—e. This leads to a graded notion of categories, which is a central notion in many models of cognitive science and cognitive semanticse. Rosch later defined it as the most central member of a category. This ranged from chair and sofa, ranked number 1, to a love seat number 10to a lamp number 31all the way to a telephone, ranked number While one may differ from this list in terms of cultural specifics, the point is that such a graded categorization is likely to be present in all cultures.

Prototype theory

Further evidence that some members of a category are more privileged than others came from experiments involving: When primed with the higher-level superordinate category, subjects were faster in identifying if two words are the same.

Thus, after flashing furniture, the equivalence of chair-chair is detected more rapidly than stove-stove. When asked to name a few exemplars, the more prototypical items came up more frequently. Subjects may be asked, e.

Prototype theory

Similarly work has been done on actions verbs like look, kill, speak, walk [Pulman: Another aspect in which Prototype Theory departs from traditional Aristotelian categorization is that there do not appear to be natural kind categories bird, dog vs. A common comparison is the use of prototype or the use of exemplars in category classification.

Medin, Altom, and Murphy found that using a mixture of prototype and exemplar information, participants were more accurately able to judge categories. Participants who were presented with prototype values classified based on similarity to stored prototypes and stored exemplars, whereas participants who only had experience with exemplar only relied on the similarity to stored exemplars.

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Smith and Minda looked at the use of prototypes and exemplars in dot-pattern category learning. They found that participants used more prototypes than they used exemplars, with the prototypes being the center of the category, and exemplars surrounding it.

Basic level categories[ edit ] The other notion related to prototypes is that of a basic level in cognitive categorization. When asked What are you sitting on?

At the subordinate level e. A picture of a chair is easy to draw or visualizebut drawing furniture would be difficult. Rosch defines the basic level as that level that has the highest degree of cue validity.

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Thus, a category like [animal] may have a prototypical member, but no cognitive visual representation. On the other hand, basic categories in [animal], i. Clearly semantic models based on attribute-value pairs fail to identify privileged levels in the hierarchy.

Functionally, it is thought that basic level categories are a decomposition of the world into maximally informative categories. Thus, they maximize the number of attributes shared by members of the category, and minimize the number of attributes shared with other categories However, the notion of Basic Level is problematic, e.

Similarly, the notion of frequency is very closely tied to the basic level, but is hard to pinpoint. More problems arise when the notion of a prototype is applied to lexical categories other than the noun.

Verbs, for example, seem to defy a clear prototype: Prototype and category formation and autism[ edit ] Autism has been shown to affect category and prototype formation. Gastgeb, Dundas, Minshew, and Strauss found that adults with high-functioning autism had difficulty forming categories and prototypes for dot patterns.

Compared to those without autism, the pattern of results was the same, but overall performance of the autism groups was significantly lower.

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Individuals with autism have also been shown to have differences in the formation of prototypes for faces. Gatsgeb, Wilkinson, Minshew, and Straussin a separate study from the above, found that adults with high-functioning autism have significant difficulty in forming prototypes for faces.

After shown a series of faces based on prototypes faces, those with autism had a harder time identifying the prototype faces than those without autism. Children with autism also show prototype effects. Molesworth, Bowler, and Hampton found that two-thirds of their sample of autistic children with high-functioning autism did not show diminished prototype effects, while one-third showed no prototype effects.

Molesworth, Bowler, and Hampton found signs of the prototype effect is children with autism and Asperger syndrome showed signs of prototype effects, yet the effects were not diminished from children without autism or Asperger syndrome. This influential theory has resulted in a view of semantic components more as possible rather than necessary contributors to the meaning of texts.

His discussion on the category game is particularly incisive Philosophical Investigations 66, I mean board games, card games, ball games, Olympic games, and so on. What is common to them all?Aug 16,  · The prototype theory is a cognitive science theory developed by Eleanor Rosch in the early s, with help from other experts in the field of cognitive psychology.

In Rosch's theory, people categorize items and concepts based on a prototype or ideal representation of that category. For example, the. Prototype theory contrasts with the so-called classical, or Aristotelian theory of categorization (Lakoff , ; Taylor a). According to the classical theory, a category is defined in terms of a set of properties, or features, and an entity is a member of the category if it exhibits each of the features.

Prototype theory contrasts with the so-called classical, or Aristotelian theory of categorization (Lakoff , ; Taylor a). According to the classical theory, a category is defined in terms of a set of properties, or features, and an entity is a member of the category if it exhibits each of the features.

A prototype is an early sample, model, or release of a product built to test a concept or process or to act as a thing to be replicated or learned from. It is a term used in a variety of contexts, including semantics, design, electronics, and software programming.

Prototype theory was developed as an alternative to the classical theory. Categories and concepts, according to this theory, are probabilistic rather than definitional in nature.

They are radially structured, with some members more central than others. The items in . Nov 03,  · The prototype theory is a cognitive science theory developed by Eleanor Rosch in the early s, with help from other experts in the field of cognitive psychology.

In Rosch's theory, people categorize items and concepts based on a prototype or ideal representation of that category.

What Is Prototype Theory?