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exemplar theory

the hypothesis that categorization depends on specific remembered instances of the category, as opposed to an abstract prototype or a feature-based rule that defines category membership. Exemplar theory has also been applied to questions of attention, skill acquisition, and social decision making, among other issues. Exemplar theories of prejudice, for example, suggest that stereotypes are not just abstractions about the typical characteristics of members of a particular group but instead are based on the perceiver’s memories of specific individual group members. Also called instance theory.

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Psychology term of the day

March 3rd 2024

nervous breakdown

nervous breakdown

a lay term for an emotional illness or other mental disorder that has a sudden onset, produces acute distress, and significantly interferes with one’s functioning. Also called nervous prostration.