Prior symmetry, similarity-based reasoning, and endogenous categorization
Pe[combining cedilla]ski, Marcin
Journal of Economic Theory, 2011, vol. 146, issue 1, 111-140
This paper presents a rational theory of categorization and similarity-based reasoning. I study a model of sequential learning in which the decision maker infers unknown properties of an object from information about other objects. The decision maker may use the following heuristics: divide objects into categories with similar properties and predict that a member of a category has a property if some other member of this category has this property. The environment is symmetric: the decision maker has no reason to believe that the objects and properties are a priori different. In symmetric environments, categorization is an optimal solution to an inductive inference problem. Any optimal solution looks as if the decision maker categorizes. Various experimental observations about similarity-based reasoning coincide with the optimal behavior in my model.
Keywords: Categorization; Invariance; Merging (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:146:y:2011:i:1:p:111-140
Access Statistics for this article
Journal of Economic Theory is currently edited by A. Lizzeri and K. Shell
More articles in Journal of Economic Theory from Elsevier
Series data maintained by Dana Niculescu ().