Feature–Feature Causal Relations and Statistical Co-Occurrences in Object Concepts
Memory & Cognition
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Influences of feature–feature statistical co-occurrences and causal relations have been found in some circumstances, but not others. We hypothesized that detecting an influence of these knowledge types hinges crucially on the congruence between the task and type of knowledge. We show that both knowledge types influence tasks that tap feature relatedness. Detailed descriptions of causal theories were collected, and co-occurrence statistics were based on feature production norms. Regression analyses tested the influences of these knowledge types in untimed relatedness ratings and speeded relatedness decisions for 65 feature pairs spanning a range of correlational strength. Both knowledge types influenced both tasks, demonstrating that causal theories and statistical co-occurrences between features influence conceptual computations.