The burning house

A niceĀ collection of photos show people’s take on a classic “ad-hoc” concept: “things to take out of a burning house.” This is a classic paper in this history of concept and category learning by Lawrence Barsalou (download the PDF here). What is unique about ad-hoc categories is that they seem to make intuitive sense (it isn’t the same as a random grouping of objects… it has a “categoryness” to it), but the category isn’t organized around any single defining feature, or even a coherent prototype (although I did see a lot of Apple logos…).

(photos from, visit the website for a larger collection)