Why did evidence of adult use of thematic relations require a change in theories about the mental organisation of conceptual knowledge? Explain how Funnell's (2001) Levels of Meaning model can accommodate this change.
Word count: 2,482 (not including references)
Upon looking into literature regarding similarities, categorisation and the processes used by humans to comprehend similarities and form categories, it is the general consensus that features are the main component we as humans look at when looking into similarities and categories. Tvsersky’s contrast model (1977) states that the more similar two objects are the more features they share and vice versa. Other theories such as the Prototype theory states that we as humans make mental prototypes of objects/entities by extracting the most typical features of them and creating a prototype which is then used to match future objects/entities in order to classify them as similar or not. Moreover, the Exemplar theory goes even further to say that a prototype is not needed. It states that because a car shares more features with a van than a bike does, the car and the van are deemed more similar. Although these all differ slightly, they all have a common theme which is that they all state a need for features, whether that is perceptual, biological or functional features (taxonomic). They do not allow for a thematic processing system to be a factor in how we perceive similarities and categories. This essay will state why using similarities in explaining categories may be weak but at the same time necessary. This essay will also show how there must be two systems for our memory by giving evidence from patients with semantic dementia. This paper will also produce evidence which shows that adults use a thematic process as well as taxonomic processing in relation to similarities and categorisation. Finally this paper will show how Funnell’s (2001) levels of meaning model can be house the change for future literature in similarities and categorisation to include a thematic component as well as a taxonomic.
Goldstone (1994) presents arguments that debate on the appropriateness and the relevance of using similarity of objects in order to categorise them. In his work, Goldstone says that there are those who argue that similarity cannot be used to categorise objects. It is argued that similarity is too flexible to be used to categorise. Additionally, it is argued that similarity is like a blank which needs to be filled. For example, we would be unable to categorise the sports football and basketball without a definition of what a sport is. This implies that an object cannot be classified until there is an aspect which is considered in order to carry out the categorisation. Moreover, it is further argued that similarity is dependent on a context and that it is not a unitary phenomenon. Goldstone (1994) posits that similarity is too flexible and that it cannot present a solid ground for categorisation with...