Document Detail

Ideals and category typicality.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21767059     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Barsalou (1985) argued that exemplars that serve category goals become more typical category members. Although this claim has received support, we investigated (a) whether categories have a single ideal, as negatively valenced categories (e.g., cigarette) often have conflicting goals, and (b) whether ideal items are in fact typical, as they often have unusual attributes. Because past studies on ideals were largely correlational and often used categories not strongly associated to goals (e.g., tree, bird, fish), we took an experimental approach, using categories with obvious goals. Our results indicated that exemplars having goal-fulfilling characteristics are generally judged as less typical than exemplars with average features. Also, although subjects had a general consensus on the ideals of neutral and positive categories, they held opposing opinions on the ideals of the negatively valenced categories. We found that this bimodality in idealness perception was due to differing perspectives taken on the categories; however, perspectives that changed idealness of category exemplars did not influence their typicality. In short, ideal exemplars that best serve category goals are not necessarily perceived as typical. We contrast the goal-fulfilling aspect of ideals with the structural notion of extreme values (e.g., very tall trees), which may influence typicality through other mechanisms. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved).
Shinwoo Kim; Gregory L Murphy
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2011-7-18
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of experimental psychology. Learning, memory, and cognition     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1939-1285     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2011 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-7-19     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8207540     Medline TA:  J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
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