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Learning to classify integral-dimension stimuli


The authors tested 288 participants in the classic category-learning tasks introduced by Shepard, Hovland, and Jenkins (1961). However, separable-dimension stimuli were used in previous tests, whereas integral-dimension stimuli were used in the present study. In contrast to previous results, which showed a superiority for Problem Type II over Problem Types III, IV, and V, the reverse pattern was observed in the present research. This result confirms a fundamental prediction made by modern exemplar-based models of classification learning. The results are interpreted in terms of the extent to which selective-attention learning mechanisms operate when separable-dimension versus integral-dimension stimuli are used.


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Correspondence to Robert M. Nosofsky.

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This work was supported by Grant PHS R01 MH48494-05 from the National Institute of Mental Health to R.M.N.

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Nosofsky, R.M., Palmeri, T.J. Learning to classify integral-dimension stimuli. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 3, 222–226 (1996).

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  • Problem Type
  • Classification Learning
  • Exemplar Model
  • Fundamental Prediction
  • Alcove Model