Document Detail

Functions in biological kind classification.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22883739     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Biological traits that serve functions, such as a zebra's coloration (for camouflage) or a kangaroo's tail (for balance), seem to have a special role in conceptual representations for biological kinds. In five experiments, we investigate whether and why functional features are privileged in biological kind classification. Experiment 1 experimentally manipulates whether a feature serves a function and finds that functional features are judged more diagnostic of category membership as well as more likely to have a deep evolutionary history, be frequent in the current population, and persist in future populations. Experiments 2-5 reveal that these inferences about history, frequency, and persistence account for nearly all the effect of function on classification. We conclude that functional features are privileged because their relationship with the kind is viewed as stable over time and thus as especially well suited for establishing category membership, with implications for theories of classification and folk biological understanding.
Tania Lombrozo; Bob Rehder
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-8-7
Journal Detail:
Title:  Cognitive psychology     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1095-5623     ISO Abbreviation:  Cogn Psychol     Publication Date:  2012 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-8-13     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0241111     Medline TA:  Cogn Psychol     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Department of Psychology, 3210 Tolman Hall, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, United States.
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