Thematic relations affect similarity via commonalities
Golonka, Sabrina and Estes, Zachary, 1973-. (2009) Thematic relations affect similarity via commonalities. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, Vol.35 (No.6). pp. 1454-1464. ISSN 0278-7393
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Thematic relations are an important source of perceived similarity. For instance, the rowing theme of boats and oars increases their perceived similarity. The mechanism of this effect, however, has not been specified previously. We investigated whether thematic relations affect similarity by increasing commonalities or by decreasing differences. In Experiment 1, thematic relations affected similarity more than difference, thereby producing a non-inversion of similarity and difference. Experiment 2 revealed substantial individual variability in the preference for thematic relations and, consequently in the non-inversion of ratings. In sum, the experiments demonstrated a non-inversion of similarity and difference that was caused by thematic relations and exhibited primarily by a subgroup of participants. These results indicate that thematic relations affect perceived similarity by increasing the contribution of commonalities rather than by decreasing the contribution of differences.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology|
|Divisions:||Faculty of Science > Psychology|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Similarity (Psychology), Categorization (Psychology), Paired-association learning|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition|
|Publisher:||American Psychological Association|
|Official Date:||November 2009|
|Page Range:||pp. 1454-1464|
|Access rights to Published version:||Open Access|
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