guerillagirl – user experience designer

guerillagirl's (ux) design journal

The classification of information

Question: Which goes with the cow together? Or: Which two items go together? Please answer spontaneously for yourself (your first thought)

I recently stumpled upon this again and I think it’s a quite interesting test and food for thought. What you see above is a triad of objects and it’s about classification/ categorization of these objects.
More important: there is no right/wrong answer on the question which two are alike or go together. In fact, your answer may depend on where you were born and raised.

This is important because quite often cross-cultural studies of websites and user experience design do focus on things like language in general, imagery, tone of voice and the appropriate use of colors and icons (see for example El Said, G. and K. Hone, 2001) – but little work appears to have been done concerning the overall structure, taxonomy and information architecture of websites which deals with the different mental models based on how you are socialized in cultural terms.

Besides that, I think it’s also a nice demo on all the different mental models and cognitive schemas we have in our minds if you have to deal with endless discussions about taxonomies/IA and vague „I—like/I-think“ -discussions” – ;)

More info about triads and cognitive schemes based on cultural background known as the „cow, chicken grass“ studies here:
Cow, Chicken, Grass. Which two go together? Your answer depends on where you were raised.

Cultural differences are not always reducible to individual differences, Nisbett et al, 2010

Img source: The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently…and Why (Nisbett, 2003)

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