In your lab classes, you participated in an experiment in which you were required to categorise amoeba-like stimuli
based on their internal features (i.e., the organelles). Classification learning difficulty was varied between
conditions. The features relevant to this categorisation decision were not revealed to you, so you were required to
learn how to correctly classify the stimuli from the feedback you were given.
This experiment is a partial replication of one by Shepard et al. (1961), who explored how different types of category
structure affected classification learning. In their first experiment, Shepard et al. (1961) demonstrated that learning
difficulty increases with category structure complexity. Our experiment was designed to test the reproducibility of
this result using more confusable stimuli.
In your tutorials, we described Shepard et al.’s (1961) first experiment and contrasted their design with that of our
experiment. In your lab report, your task is to demonstrate an understanding of Shepard et al. (1961)’s original
experiment and findings, citing other relevant literature where appropriate to explain their results. In doing so, you
should provide a rationale for the current study that justifies our predictions. You will also need to report the results
from the lab report experiment and discuss your findings in the context of Shepard et al.’s (1961) results and the
broader classification literature.
A template for writing the lab report, including the method section, is available on the Lab Report Assignment page.
Please note that, while the method is not assessed, you are still expected to complete this section by replacing
the missing values with the appropriate numbers.