Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Short Communication

“Commitment” distinguishes between rules and similarity: A developmental perspective

Gil Diesendruck a1
a1 Department of Psychology and Gonda Brain Research Center, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, 52900, Israel [email protected]


A qualitative difference between Rules and Similarity in categorization can be described in terms of “commitment”: Rules entail it, Similarity does not. Commitment derives from people's knowledge of a domain, and it is what justifies people's inferences, selective attention, and dismissal of irrelevant information. Studies show that when children have knowledge, they manifest these aspects of commitment, thus overcoming Similarity.