Relations between Associative and Structured Knowledge in Category-based Induction.


Theories of category-based human inductive reasoning typically rely on either associative or structured knowledge about relationships between categories. Here, we test a prediction, derived from a hybrid theory that utilizes both kinds of knowledge representation, that participants will experience conflict on a reasoning task in which associative and structured knowledge support different responses. Participants completed a triad task that tested their ability to generalize a genetic property from a target species to a taxonomically related response. The strength of association between the target and an alternative non-taxonomic (i.e., foil) response was manipulated across trials. Analysis of participants’ mouse cursor trajectories revealed that they were initially drawn toward strongly associated foil responses, even when they ultimately chose the correct (taxonomic) option.

Proceedings of the EuroAsianPacific Joint Conference on Cognitive Science