Cognitive Science 27 (5):709-748 (2003)

A theory of categorization is presented in which knowledge of causal relationships between category features is represented in terms of asymmetric and probabilistic causal mechanisms. According to causal‐model theory, objects are classified as category members to the extent they are likely to have been generated or produced by those mechanisms. The empirical results confirmed that participants rated exemplars good category members to the extent their features manifested the expectations that causal knowledge induces, such as correlations between feature pairs that are directly connected by causal relationships. These expectations also included sensitivity to higher‐order feature interactions that emerge from the asymmetries inherent in causal relationships. Quantitative fits of causal‐model theory were superior to those obtained with extensions to traditional similarity‐based models that represent causal knowledge either as higher‐order relational features or “prior exemplars” stored in memory.
Keywords Categorization  Conceptual representation  Causal reasoning  Causal models  Causal knowledge
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DOI 10.1207/s15516709cog2705_2
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References found in this work BETA

Causality: Models, Reasoning and Inference.Judea Pearl - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.
The Direction of Time.Hans Reichenbach - 1956 - Dover Publications.

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