Scattered naive theories: Why the human mind is isomorphic to the internet web

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12 Scopus citations


This paper constitutes an attempt to derive the epistemological consequences of what is known in cognitive, developmental, and social psychology on the nature of naive theories. The process of cognitive development and knowledge acquisition is such that uncoordinated knowledge must result. There is no process active in long-term memory to harmonize inconsistent parts. Coordination takes place in working memory (WM), and cognitive psychology has long established its extreme exiguity. Units of explanation and domains of coherence are therefore small. This is, indeed, a limitation of our cognition, but it is tenable pragmatically. Naive theories, on any one issue, do not form, psychologically, cognitively, a natural kind. These theses about how our knowledge is acquired, organized, accessed, and used help to bring out how one should think about naive theories.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-202
Number of pages28
JournalNew Ideas in Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2001


  • Conceptions
  • Knowledge
  • Misconceptions
  • Models
  • Naive theory
  • Self-organization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (all)


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