Knowing All

A Theory of Lay Epistemics
  • Arie W. Kruglanski
Part of the Perspectives in Social Psychology book series (PSPS)


As we go about our daily affairs, interacting with other people or attending to our tasks, there are a variety of things that we know. We might know that it is Christmas Eve, that the concerto being played is by Vivaldi, that we are late with our heating bill, or that two and two is four. In the following pages, I outline a psychological theory that specifies how all such knowledge comes about. I call this theory a theory of lay epistemics. The term lay is not meant to imply a break with “sophisticated,” “normative,” or “scientific” epistemics. To the contrary, I feel that the continuities between common sense and science significantly outweigh the discontinuities. Accordingly, this book is devoted to the general knowledge acquisition process that is manifest alike in activities of scientists and laypersons. What I mean to suggest is that all epistemic activity is in a sense lay; it shares the same process, is influenced by the same factors, and, above all, suffers from the same frailties and foibles.


Knowledge Structure Epistemic Activity Present Interpretation Hypothesis Validation Epistemic Process 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arie W. Kruglanski
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

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