Concepts can be organized by their members' similarities, forming a kind (e.g., animal), or by their external relations within scenes or events (e.g., cake and candles). This latter type of relation, known as the thematic relation, is frequently found to be the basis of children's but not adults' classification. However, 10 experiments found that when thematic relations are meaningful and salient, they have significant influence on adults' category construction (sorting), inductive reasoning, and verification of category membership. The authors conclude that concepts function closely with knowledge of scenes and events and that this knowledge has a role in adults' conceptual representations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental Neuroscience