Are there kinds of concepts?

Douglas L. Medin*, Elizabeth B. Lynch, Karen O. Solomon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

133 Scopus citations


Past research on concepts has focused almost exclusively on noun-object concepts. This paper discusses recent research demonstrating that useful distinctions may be made among kinds of concepts, including both object and nonobject concepts. We discuss three types of criteria, based on structure, process, and content, that may be used to distinguish among kinds of concepts. The paper then reviews a number of possible candidates for kinds based on the discussed criteria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-147
Number of pages27
JournalAnnual review of psychology
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000


  • Categorization
  • Cognitive processes
  • Domain specificity
  • Mental representation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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