Effects of Explanation and Comparison on Category Learning

Brian J. Edwards, Joseph J. Williams, Tania Lombrozo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Generating explanations and making comparisons have both been shown to improve learning. While each process has been studied individually, the relationship between explanation and comparison is not well understood. Three experiments evaluated the effectiveness of explanation and comparison prompts in learning novel categories. In Experiment 1, participants explained items' category membership, performed pairwise comparisons between items (listed similarities and differences), did both, or did a control task. The explanation task increased the discovery of rules underlying category membership; however, the comparison task decreased rule discovery. Experiments 2 and 3 showed that (1) comparing all four category exemplars was more effective than either within-category or between-category pairwise comparisons, and that (2) “explain” participants reported higher levels of both spontaneous explanation and comparison than “compare” participants. This work provides insights into when explanation and comparison are most effective, and how these processes can work together to maximize learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCooperative Minds
Subtitle of host publicationSocial Interaction and Group Dynamics - Proceedings of the 35th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, CogSci 2013
EditorsMarkus Knauff, Natalie Sebanz, Michael Pauen, Ipke Wachsmuth
PublisherThe Cognitive Science Society
Pages406-411
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780976831891
StatePublished - 2013
Event35th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society - Cooperative Minds: Social Interaction and Group Dynamics, CogSci 2013 - Berlin, Germany
Duration: Jul 31 2013Aug 3 2013

Publication series

NameCooperative Minds: Social Interaction and Group Dynamics - Proceedings of the 35th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, CogSci 2013

Conference

Conference35th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society - Cooperative Minds: Social Interaction and Group Dynamics, CogSci 2013
Country/TerritoryGermany
CityBerlin
Period7/31/138/3/13

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

Keywords

  • categorization
  • comparison
  • Explanation
  • learning

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