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Relational similarity and the nonindependence of features in similarity judgments

By Robert L. Goldstone, Douous L. Medin and Dedre Gentner

Abstract

Four experiments examincd the hypothesis that shpk attributional features and relational features operate differently in the determination of similarity judgments. Forced choice similarity judgments (“Is X or Y morc similar to Z?”) and similarity rating tasks demonslrptc that making the samc featural change in two geometric stimuli uncqupUy pffeas their judged zimilarity to a third stimulus (the comparison stimulus). M m spccitidy, a fcatud ckpnoe that causes stimuli to be more superficially similar and less relotioMUy similar increases judged similarity if it occurs in stimuli tbat already share many supemCd attributes, and dccnases similarity if it occurs in stimuli that do not share as many superfiial attributeS&esc results argue against an assumption of feature independence which ass & that the degree to which a feature shared by two objects affects similarity is independent of the other features shared by the objects. The MAX hypothesis is introduced. in which attributional and relational similarities arc separately podcd. and shared features &cc1 similarity morc if the pool they arc in is plready relatively large. The results support claims that relations and at

Year: 1991
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.318.7847
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