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Preferred representations and knowledge acquisition

  • Françoise Cordier
Article

Abstract

There are two kinds of preferential representations. They are connected on the one hand to the degree of typicality of the instance in relation to the category, and on the other hand to the level of categorial abstraction. We consider them in their initial theoretical background which is the «natural categorization» one and, for categories of objects, it questions the classical Aristotelian conception. We bring out the fact that preferential representations can also, be traced in the fields of the relation and process categories, and that, according to the same logic, they’ve got to be taken into account when schemata are concerned. We go through a series of experiments which deal with the effects the preferential representations have while the information is being processed, especially in a developmental point of view. To finish with, we insist on the fact that these effects have to be considered systematically in the study of the acquisition of knowledge.

Key words

Typicality Basic level Category Schemata 

Représentations privilégiées et acquisition de connaissances

Résumé

Les représentations privilégiées sont de deux types. Elles sont liées au degré de typicalité de l’exemplaire par rapport à la catégorie d’une part, au niveau d’abstraction catégorielle d’autre part. Nous les envisageons dans leur cadre théorique initial, celui de la «catégorisation naturelle» qui, pour des catégories d’objets, remet en cause la conception aristotélicienne classique. Nous mettons en évidence que les représentations privilégiées peuvent être soulignées également dans les domaines des catégories de relations et de procès, et que, dans la même logique, il est légitime de les prendre en compte au niveau des schémas. Nous présentons une revue des expérimentations qui traitent des effets des représentations privilégiées au cours du traitement de l’information, tout particulièrement dans une perspective développementale. Nous soulignons enfin la nécessité de prendre en compte systématiquement ces effets dans l’acquisition de connaissances.

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Copyright information

© Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada, Lisbon, Portugal/ Springer Netherlands 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Françoise Cordier
    • 1
  1. 1.Equipe «Psychologie cognitive du traitement des informations symboliques», G.S. CNRS 04 660, Groupe TEXTIMAUniversité de Paris VIIISaint-Denis Cedex 02France

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