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Research Article

Determinants of Speeded Categorization in Natural Concepts


Timothy Verbeemen ,

Department of Psychology, University of Leuven, Tiensestraat 102, 3000 Leuven, BE
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Gert Storms,

University of Leuven, BE
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Tom Verguts

Ghent University, BE
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In this paper we describe two experiments in which the effects of typicality information from a target and a contrasting category on reaction times in a speeded categorization task were investigated. Experiment 1 elaborated on findings by Verbeemen et al. (2001) who found an effect of feature- and exemplar-based predictors from the target category, but virtually no effect of predictors from contrasting categories, in a wide range of categories. To avoid restrictions in the amount of relevant typicality information covered by these predictors we took a more direct approach. With directly rated typicality as a predictor for reaction limes we obtained identical results. Experiment 2 expanded the set of concepts studied to superordinate animal concepts, again with typicalities as predictors. In these concepts we did find significant contributions of contrast categories. Possible explanations are discussed.
How to Cite: Verbeemen, T., Storms, G. and Verguts, T., 2003. Determinants of Speeded Categorization in Natural Concepts. Psychologica Belgica, 43(3), pp.139–151. DOI:
Published on 01 Jan 2003.
Peer Reviewed


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