chapter  3
56 Pages

Categorization

The previous chapter was concerned with a rational analysis of memoryhow it is that we get access to past experiences. This chapter is concerned

with categorization-how we are able to go from past experience to make predictions about new objects. Because both deal with use of past experience, it is important to emphasize how they are different. Their differences derive fundamentally from their different goals. A memory analysis is appropriate when we need to retrieve and act on a specific past experiencefor instance, when I want to remember where I parked my car at the airport parking lot. A categorization analysis is appropriate when we need to make a prediction about something new-such as whether a particular creature is likely to be dangerous.