It is now twenty years since Rosch and Mervis first published the mass of evidence on which the Prototype Theory of concepts was originally based (Rosch, 1977; Rosch & Mervis, 1975). The theory has evolved many varieties over the years - varieties which have rarely been made explicit. These different ways of interpreting the notion of a prototype have often been a worrying source of vagueness and confusion in the theory. In this article these different interpretations will be examined by looking at the kinds of attribute which could be involved in a prototype representation, and discussing how the model could be formulated in each case. It will be argued that a key element required for a successful model of prototypes is the element of abstraction, and that certain versions of Prototype Theory that lack this element are inadequate as a result.
How to Cite:
Hampton, J.A., 1995. Similarity-Based Categorization: The Development of Prototype Theory. Psychologica Belgica, 35(2-3), pp.103–125. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/pb.881