Dissociation Between Categorization And Similarity Judgment: Differential Effect Of Causal Status On Feature Weights

Woo-kyoung Ahn and Martin J. Dennis
Department of Psychology
Yale University, P. O. Box 208205
New Haven, CT 06520, U.S.A.
woo-kyoung.ahn@yale.edu, martin.dennis@yale.edu

Abstract A traditional account for categorization is that similarity is the main basis of categorizing objects. A recent approach, however, emphasized the role of deeper features and variability of examples as additional factors in categorization. The current studies show that feature weighting differs in categorization and similarity judgment. Deeper features are operationalized to be the features that cause surface features. The first experiment shows that, other things being equal, deeper features are weighted more heavily in similarity judgments than are surface features. Two further experiments show that deeper features are weighted more heavily than surface features in categorization than they are in similarity judgment. Due to this difference in feature weighting, categorization and similarity can be dissociated.