Naïve understanding of inflation

David Leiser, Shelly Drori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


A multi-faceted questionnaire was presented to four groups of people occupying different positions in the economic world: students in psychology, technical high school students, grocers, and school teachers, in an effort to identify commonalties and differences in their concept of inflation. The questionnaire included concepts associations, closed and open questions. Comparison of their answers indicated that the core of the social representation is nearly identical across the groups, and at variance with the concept held by professional economists. To the (economically) naïve individual, inflation is perceived as something that befalls prices and money, whereas causes or corollaries are more loosely associated. The depth of understanding was found to be widely different across groups, and several misconceptions were identified. These findings are discussed in the context of psychological theories that emphasize the multi-sided nature of lay conceptual systems, and in that of social representations, that stress the interaction between concepts developed by professionals and the cognitive and social factors that shape their assimilation by the public at large.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-198
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Socio-Economics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Expectations
  • Mental representations
  • Social representations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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