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The Naive Scientist Revisited: Naive Theories and Social Judgment

Published Online:https://doi.org/10.1521/soco.1998.16.1.1

Heider's (1958) proposal of a “common sense” psychology in which people's “naive theories” are central to a scientific understanding of social phenomena is discussed. The “naive theory” construct is discussed in relation to similar concepts such as lay beliefs, intuitive theories, and implicit theories. Special attention is given to the use of the term “implicit” in social psychological contexts. Finally, the contributions to this special issue on “Naive Theories and Social Judgment” are described. In these articles, a variety of leading scholars discuss and/or present research that goes beyond the study of the content of naive theories in order to investigate the impact of naive theories on related perceptions and behaviors.