Cognitive Psychology: Variations on Categorization

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1994, Vol 39(1), 53–54. Reviews the book, Cognitive Psychology: An Overview for Cognitive Scientists by Lawrence W. Barsalou (1992). For Barsalou, apparently, the challenge is writing for several audiences: for workers in the cognitive sciences, for courses in cognitive science that cover methods and contributions from cognitive psychology, for usage in an introductory course on cognitive psychology, and for lay readers interested in the field. The recurrent theme of this book is categorization. The main topic in the chapters on categorization, representation, and knowledge in memory, this theme also pops up in numerous other contexts (e. g., as language structure and language processes). Categorization really serves the function of connecting all chapters to a common issue. Understanding human expertise is the key to the understanding of human intelligence. A short review of data and models concerning human expertise would have contributed to the main objectives in writing the book, without disrupting the organization of its materials. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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