Categorization in the Wild

Robert J. Glushko, Paul Maglio, Teenie Matlock, and Lawrence Barsalou. "Categorization in the Wild". Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 12(4): 129-135, April 2008.


In studying categorization, cognitive science has focused primarily on cultural categorization, ignoring individual and institutional categorization. Because recent technological developments have made individual and institutional classification systems much more available and powerful, our understanding of the cognitive and social mechanisms that produce these systems is increasingly important. Furthermore, key aspects of categorization that have received little previous attention emerge from considering diverse types of categorization together, such as the social factors that create stability in classification systems, and the interoperability that shared conceptual systems establish between agents. Finally, the profound impact of recent technological developments on classification systems indicates that basic categorization mechanisms are highly adaptive, producing new classification systems as the situations in which they operate change.


Last updated:

September 20, 2016