The Role of Different Types of Labels in Learning Statistically Dense and Statistically Sparse Categories
Four experiments were conducted to assess the influence of label type (Experiments 1a and 1b) and the interference from articulation (Experiments 2a and 2b) on the learning of dense vs. sparse categories in classic category formation tasks with feedback. It was found that using pictorial labels improves dense category learning, but for sparse category learning it has no effect. Sparse category formation was more effective in conditions with easily verbalized labels (familiar color names, no verbal interference). Additionally, it was shown that verbal interference (the additional task to verbalize the labels) worsens sparse category formation, but for dense category formation it has no effect. The results of our experiments are discussed in accordance with the Competition Between Verbal and Implicit Systems (COVIS) model of multiple systems of categorization.