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Research Article

Similarity-Based Categorization: The Development of Prototype Theory

Author:

James A. Hampton

City University London, GB
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Abstract

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
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Published on 01 Jan 1995.
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