In the News

Annenberg School for Communication: Why Independent Cultures Think Alike When It Comes to Categories – It’s Not in the Brain Damon Centola

By January 12, 2021February 15th, 2021No Comments

When it comes to organizing unfamiliar objects, the dominant hypothesis is that people are born with categories already in their brains. However, a recent study from the Network Dynamics Group at the Annenberg School for Communication discovered otherwise. In the experiment, people were asked to categorize unfamiliar shapes. Individuals and small groups created many different unique categorization systems while large groups created systems that were nearly identical to one another.

“If people are all born seeing the world the same way, we would not observe so many differences in how individuals organize things,” says senior author Damon Centola, Professor of Communication, Sociology, and Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania.

Read more here at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.

News Mention

  • Damon Centola headshot

    Damon Centola, PhD

    Professor in the Annenberg School for Communication, the School of Arts and Sciences, and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences