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Type: Book chapter
Title: Systems of category learning: Fact or fantasy?
Author: Newell, B.
Dunn, J.
Kalish, M.
Citation: Psychology of Learning and Motivation: Advances in Research and Theory, Volume 54, 2011 / Ross, B. (ed./s), vol.54, pp.167-215
Publisher: Elsevier
Publisher Place: 525 B Street Suite 1900 San Diego CA 92101-4495
Issue Date: 2011
Series/Report no.: Psychology of Learning and Motivation
ISBN: 9780123855275
Editor: Ross, B.
Statement of
Ben R. Newell, John C. Dunn, and Michael Kalish
Abstract: Psychology abounds with vigorous debates about the need for one or more underlying mental processes or systems to explain empirical observations. The field of category learning provides an excellent exemplar. We present a critical examination of this field focusing on empirical, methodological, and mathematical modeling considerations. We review what is often presented as the "best evidence" for multiple systems of category learning and critique the evidence by considering three questions: (1) Are multiple-systems accounts the only viable explanations for reported effects? (2) Are the inferences sound logically and methodologically? (3) Are the mathematical models that can account for behavior sufficiently constrained, and are alternative (single-system) models applicable? We conclude that the evidence for multiple-systems accounts of category learning does not withstand such scrutiny. We end by discussing the varieties of explanation that can be offered for psychological phenomena and highlight why multiple-systems accounts often provide an illusory sense of scientific progress. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.
Rights: Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-385527-5.00006-1
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 5
Psychology publications

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