Category structure modulates interleaving and blocking advantage in inductive category acquisition

Abstract

Research in inductive category learning has demonstrated that interleaving exemplars of categories results in better performance than presenting each category in a separate block. Two experiments indicate that the advantage of interleaved over blocked presentation is modulated by the structure of the categories being presented. More specifically, interleaved presentation results in better performance for categories with high within- and between-category similarity while blocked presentation results in better performance for categories with low within- and between-category similarity. This interaction is predicted by accounts in which blocking promotes discovery of features shared by the members of a category whereas interleaving promotes discovery of features that discriminate between categories.


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