Date of Award

Summer 8-2016

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department


Degree Name

Master of Arts (AM/MA)

Degree Type

Thesis DLA


Category learning is ubiquitous in science education. From botany courses teaching to identify different types of plants to geology courses teaching to distinguish various types of rocks, examples of category learning being a core of a course curriculum can be easily found. Using the educationally authentic rock categories, the current project examined whether category learning at a broad level (i.e., distinguishing between Igneous, Sedimentary, and Metamorphic rocks) could be enhanced by using category information at a more specific level (e.g., Harzburgite under Igneous, Breccia under Sedimentary, etc.). Both in Experiment 1 (broad- and specific- level information were presented simultaneously) and Experiment 2 (specific-level categories were learned separately from specific- and broad- level category names association), direct training at the broad level was superior to the protocol combining the specific-level category information.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Mark A. McDaniel, PhD

Committee Members

Henry Roediger, Ian Dobbins


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