Home > DD303 Cognitive Psychology

Question: TMA 06 Why do psychologists define ‘concepts’ in terms of properties? What problems are associated with this approach to concepts?

Answer: From a psychological perspective ‘concepts’ are generic mental representations about specific things. The world is made up of numerous specific things or ‘categories’, so concepts are the mental constructs of physical categories. Concepts are quite specific and encompass all relevant inferred information regarding a category or category member, so when encountering a novel item or new living thing it can be categorised by using the information which is stored in long term memory under concepts for similar things. Theories of how concepts are formed have centred around grouped ‘properties’ or shared similarities. For example people usually categorise animals with feathers, who lays eggs, who fly and who have a beak as the concept ‘bird’, whereas something which does not share these properties is not a bird category member. Different concept formation perspectives use p...(short extract)

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  • Subject: Psychology
  • Course: DD303 Cognitive Psychology
  • Level: Degree
  • Year: 2nd/3rd
  • Mark: 82%
  • Words: 2037
  • Date submitted: November 08, 2015
  • Date written: April, 2015
  • References: Yes
  • Document type: Essay*
  • Essay ID: 6883

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