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Tesi etd-06032010-141730

Thesis type
Tesi di laurea specialistica
The Situated Nature of Concepts: Evidence from a Property Generation Task
Corso di studi
relatore Prof. Lenci, Alessandro
correlatore Prof. Marotta, Giovanna
Parole chiave
  • property generation task
  • situated cognition
  • LASS theory
  • concepts
  • context
  • semantic feature norms
Data inizio appello
Data di rilascio
Riassunto analitico
Recent theories of cognition recognize the importance of context in cognitive tasks. However, many theorists assume that during categorization we identify only the salient information while discarding that which is irrelevant. To the contrary, Barsalou's theory of Situated Cognition claims that during categorization the human brain stores extensive information about background situations.

The purpose of this study is to provide empirical evidence that context has an effect on shaping conceptual representations. Some researchers used a property generation task to provide evidence to support this theory. However, these studies have a significant limit: they analyze the influence of the context during conceptualization without analyzing concepts situated in specific contexts.
In the feature generation task described in this work participants (English native speakers) were required to produce features both for concepts presented out of context and for the same concepts framed in particular contexts (visual and linguistic).

Chapter 1 is meant to be an outline of the Situated Cognition Theory, which will also be compared with traditional theories of concepts.
In chapter 2 I will introduce previous examples of semantic feature norms (McRae, Vigliocco and Garrard). After which, I will review our process of features collection. I will describe the web interface specifically designed for the purpose, and the processes of collection, categorization and normalization of the properties generated by participants.
Chapter 3 reports various analyses conducted on our data to corroborate the hypotheses of Barsalou.