Eric R Melz, Patricia W Cheng, Keith J Holyoak, and Michael R Waldmann (1993)

Cue competition in human categorization: Contingency or the Rescorla-Wagner Learning Rule? Comment on Shanks (1991)

Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 19(6):1398-1410.

D. R. Shanks (1991) reported experiments that show selective-learning effects in a categorization task, and presented simulations of his data using a connectionist network model implementing the Rescorla-Wagner (R-W) theory of animal conditioning. He concluded that his results (1) support the application of the R-W theory to account for human categorization, and (2) contradict a particular variant of contingency-based theories of categorization. These conclusions are examined. It is shown that the asymptotic weights produced by the R-W model actually predict systematic deviations from the observed human learning data. Shanks claimed that his simulations provided good qualitative fits to the observed data when the weights in the networks were allowed to reach their asymptote. However, analytic derivations of the asymptotic weights reveal that the final weights obtained in Shanks's Simulations 1 and 2 do not correspond to the actual asymptotic weights, apparently because the networks were not in fact run to asymptote. It is also shown that a contingency-based theory that incorporates the notion of focal sets can provide a more adequate explanation of cue competition than does the R-W model. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

Accession Number: 1994-24205-001. Other Journal Title: Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Learning and Memory. Partial author list: First Author & Affiliation: Melz, Eric R.; U California, Dept of Psychology, Los Angeles, US. Release Date: 20060710. Publication Type: Journal (0100), Peer Reviewed Journal (0110). Format Covered: Print. Document Type: Comment/Reply. Language: English. Major Descriptor: Classification (Cognitive Process); Cues; Learning; Neural Networks. Minor Descriptor: Experimental Replication; Theories. Classification: Cognitive Processes (2340). Population: Human (10). Age Group: Adulthood (18 yrs & older) (300). Methodology: Empirical Study; Experimental Replication. References Available: Y. Page Count: 13. Issue Publication Date: Nov, 1993. Publication History: Accepted Date: Sep 8, 1992; Revised Date: Aug 31, 1992; First Submitted Date: Dec 27, 1991. Copyright Statement: American Psychological Association. 1993.