Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 677–684 | Cite as

Predicting conjunction typicalities by component typicalities

  • Gert StormsEmail author
  • Paul De Boeck
  • James A. Hampton
  • Iven Van Mechelen
Brief Reports


In two studies, we investigated to what extent typicalities in conjunctive concepts phrased as relative clauses—such aspets that are also birds—can be predicted from simple functions of constituent typicalities and from extensions of such functions. In a first study, analyses of a large aggregated data set, based on seven different experiments, showed that a calibrated minimum rule model and some extensions of this model accounted for a very large part of the variance in the conjunction typicalities. The same models can also account for the so-called guppy effect. A psychological explanation is presented, which states that typicalities in contrast categories, likepets that are not birds andbirds that are not pets, further improve the prediction of conjunction typicalities. This hypothesis is tested in a second study.


Journal ofExperimental Psychology Relative Clause Spline Function Dominance Effect Prototype Theory 
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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gert Storms
    • 1
    Email author
  • Paul De Boeck
    • 1
  • James A. Hampton
    • 2
  • Iven Van Mechelen
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.City UniversityLondonEngland

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