Survey of common tree names

Barry Roth barryr at UCMP1.BERKELEY.EDU
Thu Jun 1 12:09:56 CDT 1995

>        I am a graduate student in Cognitive Science at Northwestern
>University.  My colleagues and I are studying classification of trees by
>experts of different types (taxonomists, landscapers, parks workers, etc.)
>in order to determine how people form the biological categories they do.  I
>am writing to request your help in our project by filling out a brief
>survey simply listing the common names of various species of trees in your
>geographical area.
>        If you are interested I will explain a bit about what we are doing.
>One question we have is how language affects categorization.  From both
>reasoning tasks and sorting tasks, we have evidence that, whereas people
>usually put trees of the same genus together (or reason about them in the
>same way), they are more likely to group unrelated trees together if they
>share a genus name (e.g. White Ash and American Mountain-Ash) and less
>likely to put related trees together if they don't share the genus name

Out of curiosity, regarding your study design:  what will be the standard by
which you judge whether trees are "related" versus "unrelated"?

 Barry Roth                             barryr at
 Research Associate, Museum of Paleontology
 University of California, Berkeley, CA 94117 USA   (415) 387-8538

More information about the Taxacom mailing list