The relational correspondence between category exemplars and names

Philosophical Psychology 16 (1):25 – 49 (2003)
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Abstract

While recognizing the theoretical importance of context, current research has treated naming as though semantic meaning were invariant and the same mapping of category exemplars and names should exist across experimental contexts. An assumed symmetry or bidirectionality in naming behavior has been implicit in the interchangeable use of tasks that ask subjects to match names to stimuli and tasks that ask subjects to match stimuli to names. Examples from the literature are discussed together with several studies of color naming and basic emotion naming in which no such symmetry was found. A more complete model of naming is proposed to account for flexible mapping of names to items. Principles of naming are suggested to describe effects of stimulus sampling, differing access to terms, task demands, and other impacts on naming behavior.

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