Using agreement probability to study differences in types of concepts and conceptualizers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Agreement probability p(a) is a homogeneity measure of lists of properties produced by participants in a Property Listing Task (PLT) for a concept. Agreement probability’s mathematical properties allow a rich analysis of property-based descriptions. To illustrate, we use p(a) to delve into the differences between concrete and abstract concepts in sighted and blind populations. Results show that concrete concepts are more homogeneous within sighted and blind groups than abstract ones (i.e., exhibit a higher p(a) than abstract ones) and that concrete concepts in the blind group are less homogeneous than in the sighted sample. This supports the idea that listed properties for concrete concepts should be more similar across subjects due to the influence of visual/perceptual information on the learning process. In contrast, abstract concepts are learned based mainly on social and linguistic information, which exhibit more variability among people, thus, making the listed properties more dissimilar across subjects. Relative to abstract concepts, the difference in p(a) between sighted and blind is not statistically significant. Though this is a null result, and should be considered with care, it is expected because abstract concepts should be learned by paying attention to the same social and linguistic input in both, blind and sighted, and thus, there is no reason to expect that the respective lists of properties should differ. Finally, we used p(a) to classify concrete and abstract concepts with a good level of certainty. All these analyses suggest that p(a) can be fruitfully used to study data obtained in a PLT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-112
Number of pages20
JournalBehavior Research Methods
Volume56
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2024
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Agreement probability
  • Concrete/abstract concepts
  • Property listing task
  • Sighted/blind populations

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