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Journal Articles Scientific Reports Year : 2022

Investigating interactions between types of order in categorization

Giulia Mezzadri
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Thomas Laloë
Fabien Mathy


This study simultaneously manipulates within-category (rule-based vs. similarity-based), between-category (blocked vs. interleaved), and across-blocks (constant vs. variable) orders to investigate how different types of presentation order interact with one another. With regard to within-category orders, stimuli were presented either in a “rule plus exceptions” fashion (in the rule-based order) or by maximizing the similarity between contiguous examples (in the similarity-based order). As for the between-category manipulation, categories were either blocked (in the blocked order) or alternated (in the interleaved order). Finally, the sequence of stimuli was either repeated (in the constant order) or varied (in the variable order) across blocks. This research offers a novel approach through both an individual and concurrent analysis of the studied factors, with the investigation of across-blocks manipulations being unprecedented. We found a significant interaction between within-category and across-blocks orders, as well as between between-category and across-blocks orders. In particular, the combination similarity-based + variable orders was the most detrimental, whereas the combination blocked + constant was the most beneficial. We also found a main effect of across-blocks manipulation, with faster learning in the constant order as compared to the variable one. With regard to the classification of novel stimuli, learners in the rule-based and interleaved orders showed generalization patterns that were more consistent with a specific rule-based strategy, as compared to learners in the similarity-based and blocked orders, respectively. This study shows that different types of order can interact in a subtle fashion and thus should not be considered in isolation.
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Dates and versions

hal-03349792 , version 1 (20-09-2021)
hal-03349792 , version 2 (26-05-2022)



Giulia Mezzadri, Patricia Reynaud-Bouret, Thomas Laloë, Fabien Mathy. Investigating interactions between types of order in categorization. Scientific Reports, 2022, 12 (21625), pp.21625. ⟨10.1038/s41598-022-25776-0⟩. ⟨hal-03349792v2⟩
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