Thematically related concepts like coffee and milk are judged to be more similar than thematically unrelated concepts like coffee and lemonade. We investigated whether thematic relations exert a small effect that occurs consistently across participants (i.e., a generalized model), or a large effect that occurs inconsistently across participants (i.e., an individualized model). We also examined whether difference judgments mirrored similarity or whether these judgments were, in fact, non-inverse. Five studies demonstrated the necessity of an individualized model for both perceived similarity and difference, and additionally provided evidence that thematic relations affect similarity more than difference. Results suggest that models of similarity and difference must be attuned to large and consistent individual variability in the weighting of thematic relations.\u
To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.