Concept Attainment-Part 1 YouTube Lecture Handouts

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Concepts: Simultaneous & Successive Scanning, Conservative Focusing & Focus Gambling

  • Concepts are part of thinking

  • Learning concept is like problem solving – we must think in order to learn concepts

  • Concept cannot be formed by seeing a single instance – red toy box (red can be toy or box or apple….)

  • Person must see many examples before confirming or denying a hypothesis about concept

  • Concept learning (simple or complex) is slow process

3 Elements of Concepts

  • Examples (positive and negative) which contain all the characteristic features or essential attributes in them

  • Attributes (essential and non-essential) are the features of objects. Essential attributes are the common features of the concepts

  • Attribute value is the specific content of that category

Types of Concepts

  • Conjunctive concepts are defined by the joint presence of several attributes.

  • Disjunctive concepts require the presence of some attributes and the absence of others.

  • Relational concepts have several attributes, but these bear some kind of relationship to one another

Image of BurnderCards

Image of BurnderCards

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  • 81 cards

Table of Features and 3 values for each feature


3 values for each feature


1 to 3


Circle, Cross, Square

Number of Objects

1 to 3


Red, Green, Black

  • Can create 255 hypothesis

  • Conjunctive concepts – joint presence of two or more features (zebra as mammal – of size and shape of horse found in wild)

4 Strategies for Concept Attainment

Simultaneous Scanning

  • Subject rationally uses information to eliminate several hypotheses and rationally thinks that remaining hypotheses can be true.

  • Eliminate all but correct hypothesis and leaves subjects with fewest choices.

  • Requires better reasoning and memory of positive and negative instances

  • Does not provide way to control the riskiness of choices

  • All red cards, all cards with circles and all red circles

Image of Properties of Instance Chosen for Testing

Image of Properties of Instance Chosen for Testing

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