Goldstone, R. L. (1993). Evidence for interrelated and isolated concepts from prototype and caricature classifications. Proceedings of the Fifteenth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. (pp. 498-503). Hillsdale, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Previous research (Goldstone, 1991) has suggested that concepts differ in their degree of dependency on other concepts. While some concepts` characterizations depend on other simultaneously acquired concepts, other concepts are relatively isolated. The current experiments provide a new measure of a concept`s interrelatedness/isolation. It is assumed that if the prototype of a concept is classified with greater accuracy than a caricature, then the concept is relatively independent of the influences of other concepts. If a caricature is more easily categorized than the prototype, then the concept is relatively dependent on other concepts. If these assumptions are made, then the current experiments provide converging support for a interrelated/isolated distinction. Instructing subjects to form images of the concepts to be acquired, or infrequently alternating categories during presentation, yields relatively isolated concepts. Instructing subjects to try to discriminate between concepts, or frequently alternative categories, yields relatively interrelated concepts.