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The New Unconscious$
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Ran R. Hassin, James S. Uleman, and John A. Bargh

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195307696

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195307696.001.0001

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Nonintentional Similarity Processing

Nonintentional Similarity Processing

Chapter:
(p.107) 5 Nonintentional Similarity Processing
Source:
The New Unconscious
Author(s):

Arthur B. Markman

Dedre Geniner

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195307696.003.0006

Similarity is a compelling part of everyday experience. In the visual world, objects that are similar in shape or color may seem to leap to our attention. In conceptual processing, we have an immediate sense of whether a pair of concepts is similar. Objects are assumed to be classified on the basis of their similarity to some stored category representation. Yet despite extensive work on mechanisms of similarity, there has been very little discussion of why and how similarity is important in cognitive processing beyond the general recognition that similarity often provides a good basis for generalization. This chapter examines the role of similarity in the cognitive architecture and the relationship of similarity to automatic processing. It discusses how similarity can influence both low-level processes like attention and memory retrieval and higher cognitive processes like analogical reasoning and decision making. It also considers a number of examples in which cognitive processing is influenced by the presence of similarities in a stimulus set.

Keywords:   similarity, category representation, cognitive processing, automatic processing, attention, memory retrieval, analogical reasoning, decision making

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