PACKER: An Exemplar Model of Category Generation


Generating new concepts is an intriguing yet understudied topic in cognitive science. In this paper, we present a novel exemplar model of category generation: PACKER (Producing Alike and Contrasting Knowledge using Exemplar Representations). PACKER's core design assumptions are (1) categories are represented as exemplars in a multidimensional psychological space, (2) generated items should be similar to exemplars of the same category, and (3) generated categories should be dissimilar to existing categories. A behavioral study reveals strong effects of contrast- and target-class similarity. These effects are novel empirical phenomena, which are directly predicted by the PACKER model but are not explained by existing formal approaches.

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