Generalization and Tinbergen's four whys

Ken Cheng*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)
    10 Downloads (Pure)


    Shepard's exponential law provides a functional explanation of generalization. The account complements the more common mechanistic models. The elegant and powerful analyses answer one of Tinbergen's (1963) four whys of behavior: a benefit conferred on the animal by generalizing in this way. A complete account might address evolutionary and developmental questions in addition to mechanistic and functional ones.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)660-661
    Number of pages2
    JournalBehavioral and Brain Sciences
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2001

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright 2001 Cambridge University Press. Article originally published in Behavioral and brain sciences, Vol. 24, No. 4, pp. 660-661. The original article can be found at


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