March 16, 2009
|Definition (Myers): A mental image or best example of a category. Matching new items to the prototype provides a quick and easy method for including items in a category (as when comparing feathered creatures to a prototypical bird, such as a robin.)|
|Definition (alternative): A prototype is the BEST example or cognitive representation of something within a certain category. Prototypes are used to enhance memory and recall, since you can keep a prototype of something and then match new, similar things to the prototype in order to identify, categorize, or store this new thing. *|
|Contextual explanation: For example, if I ask you to imagine a dog, what do you imagine? You may consider a German Shepard your prototype for a dog by which you compare all other dogs. So if you see another dog, you could say that other dog is small (compared to your prototype), heavy, ugly, beautiful, etc. *|
| Related terms and concepts: |
| This is a prototype of a bird. When we see other birds, we match wat we see to our prototype of bird: big wings, thin legs, tail, etc.|
This bird called kiwi, is also a bird, but it often confuses us because it doesn't exactly fit into our prototype. It has small wings that don't support it to fly.
| Related websites: |
-> Gives connection with Oxford University Press that gives general definiton of prototype.
-> Provides general prototype categories and characteristics. However later it talks about computer and production designs.
|Edited by: Elaine|