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Dissertation Information for Elin Katherine Jacob

- Elin Katherine Jacob

- Ph.D.

- Library and Information Science

- University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (USA) (1994)

- Stephanie Haas

- Evelyn Hope Daniel
- Robert M. Losee
- Barbara Marie Wildemuth
- Fillenbaum Samuel

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: Sharing concepts: Communicative constraints on the structure of categories

Abstract: The goal of communication is to promote the exchange of information between individuals or between the individual and the information system. The ability to share information across individuals depends upon the existence of a common representational structure that is available to all participants in a process of communication; but research conducted over the past two decades indicates that cognitive representations of common categories are highly variable both between individuals and within the same individual across observations. The shareability principle advanced by Freyd (1983) proposes that the act of participating in a process of communication imposes certain constraints on the cognitive organization of information that facilitate communication by minimizing information loss. The current research investigates the proposal that participation in an act of interpersonal communication imposes structural constraints on the cognitive organization of category members so as to approximate a more stable representational structure that is shared across members of a linguistic community. The study consisted of two experiments. In Experiment 1, fifty-six subjects generated category members for three practice categories and twenty-two critical categories. In Experiment 2, eighty-two subjects were randomly assigned to one of three groups or experimental conditions: no-context, general-context and context-plus-communication. Subjects were asked to provide typicality ratings for entities belonging to twelve of the categories used in Experiment 1 and the procedure was repeated using the same materials at intervals of ten days to two weeks for a total of three observations. In analyzing the data, stability was measured as a function of group variance and two-tailed variance ratio tests were used in pairwise comparisons of groups. Results indicated that subjects in the no-context condition exhibited greater stability of representation than subjects in either the general-context or context-plus-communication condition not only between subjects but within subjects across observations. Although the results do not support the hypothesis that participation in a process of communication constrains the cognitive representation of a category, they appear to indicate that members of a linguistic community may share a more generalized level of representation based upon context-independent information.

MPACT Scores for Elin Katherine Jacob

A = 5
C = 2
A+C = 7
T = 5
G = 1
W = 5
TD = 5
TA = 0
calculated 2014-02-09 17:08:12

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Students under Elin Katherine Jacob

- Caroline Beebe - Indiana University (2006)
- Seungmin Lee - Indiana University (2010)
- Ning Yu - Indiana University (2011)
- Aaron J. Loehrlein - Indiana University (2012)
- Hui Zhang - Indiana University (2013)

- Maria Christina Pattuelli - University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (2007)
- Erjia Yan - Indiana University (2013)