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Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis InternationalĀ® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.

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Category: Learning Center Videos

Wasserman, Edward. From Keller and Schoenfeld to Concepts and Categories. Presentation plus 1 credit BACB CE

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Keller and Schoenfeld (1950) offered a unique behavioral perspective on conceptualization and categorization, one that has proven to be dramatically out of step with mainstream cognitive theory. Keller and Schoenfeld's behavioral approach has inspired Dr. Wasserman's research into conceptualization and categorization by nonhuman animals. Using a system of arbitrary visual tokens, Dr. Wasserman and his colleagues have built ever-expanding nonverbal "vocabularies" in pigeons through a variety of different discrimination tasks. Pigeons have reliably categorized as many as 500 individual photographs from as many as 16 different human object categories, even without the benefit of seeing an item twice. Their formal model of categorization effectively embraces 25 years of empirical evidence as well as generates novel predictions for both pigeon and human categorization behavior. Comparative study should continue to elucidate the commonalities and disparities between human and nonhuman categorization behavior; it also should explicate the relationship between associative learning and categorization.

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