Categorization remains a significant problem challenging cognitive psychologists. It is a process that involves the recognition, differentiation and comprehension of various objects and ideas. Categorization involves processes of generalization and discrimination. Whereas generalization recognizes features common to members within a conceptual category, discrimination highlights differences between the conceptual categories.
Evidence shows how categories help in the organization and acquisition of an overview information collected from a broad range of documents. Without categorization knowledge, representation through the use of semantic knowledge would be a difficult task. A person will be unable to retrieve all the information he/she has about an object or idea if its special concepts are not organized. It would also result in confusion of general features; in a case where a word represents two different objects or ideas. For instance, the mention of the word apple would result in retrieval of the part’s features instead of the technology company.
Imagery involves the mental creation of an object’s image in its absence; categorization has a significant part in the imagery. It involves the structuring of knowledge about a particular object so that it can be easily accessed (Matlin, 2009). For example, a mental image of a banana elicits known characteristics such as; yellow color, and sweet taste.
In relation to features used in the categorization, some categories lack clearly defined features. It may result in wrongful categorization of certain features. Subsequently, though categorization groups its members in relation to common features, some members may need definite features. It also results in the existence of fuzzy boundaries between categories.
It has a significant role in human semantic abilities (Matlin, 2009). It grants the ability to attribute meanings to occurrences and objects in the environment; enabling understanding and recollecting of a wide range of facts about something just by looking at it.
2014. Cognitive Psychology: Cognitive Maps.
2014. Cognitive Psychology: Knowledge & Categorization
Matlin, M. W. (2009). Cognition (7th ed.).Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons Inc.