Exemplar Theory

Exemplar Theory (or Exemplar Model) proposes that human memory assigns objects and ideas into broad categories and when confronted with a new object, the mind is able to place the new object into its appropriate category. For instance, tables come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, yet that all have in common that they are solid objects with legs and a flat surface on top. Therefore, it is possible for a human to place a formal dining table, a TV tray and a medical examining table all into the exemplar category of "table." Being able to categorize objects in this way, rather than having to analyze and label each new item individually greatly simplifies the human thought processes.

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