Effects of contextual composition of category triads on semantic interrelatedness among members


The influence of the composition of category members during study on the extent of semantic interrelatedness among the members during subsequent recognition was examined. Triads during study contained members at two adjacent levels of taxonomic classification. Members from the superordinate level (e.g., furniture) are considered to be less semantically related than members from the subordinate level (e.g., baby furniture). A target (e.g., crib) was a member that could be contextualized at either level of categorization. The foil during a subsequent recognition test consisted of an encoding triad with a substitute for the target. The substitute was drawn from either the superordinate level or the subordinate level or was unrelated to the target. The relative false-alarm rates for the various substitutes measured the extent of semantic relatedness between the target and other class members. The results confirmed the hypothesis that the semantic interrelatedness of members of the triads during encoding influenced the relatedness of the target to other category members during the recognition phase.


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Correspondence to Lorraine A. Low.

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Low, L.A. Effects of contextual composition of category triads on semantic interrelatedness among members. Bull. Psychon. Soc. 26, 403–406 (1988). https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03334897

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  • False Alarm
  • Category Member
  • Specific Comparison
  • Encode Condition
  • Superordinate Level