Attentional strategies during category learning: an eye-tracking study
- Author(s): Bachurina, Valentina A;
- Kotov, Alexey;
- Zherdeva, Maria
- et al.
In categorization tasks optimization of performance depends on attention to relevant stimulus features. However, studies show that adults and children seem to use different strategies when learning new categories. Deng & Sloutsky (2016) found that adults attend selectively, whereas children prefer to attend diffusely, even when the stimuli possess deterministic features (i.e. with 100% probability of belonging to a certain category). Most studies of attention in category learning rely on behavioral effects to infer attentional strategy, despite the availability of eye-tracking technology. In this study, we combine the use of category training and transfer paradigms (see Miles & Minda, 2009 and Deng & Sloutsky, 2016) and eye-tracking methods to investigate attentional strategies of children and adults during category learning. Preliminary results of our adult pilot (N = 14) confirm the prediction that adults optimize performance by attending increasingly to deterministic features of the stimulus once the categorical rule is found.