Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Short Communication

Rules and similarity – a false dichotomy

James A. Hampton a1
a1 Psychology Department, City University, Northampton Square, London EC1V OHB, United Kingdom http://


Unless restricted to explicitly held, sharable beliefs that control and justify a person's behavior, the notion of a rule has little value as an explanatory concept. Similarity-based processing is a general characteristic of the mind-world interface where internal processes (including explicitly represented rules) act on the external world. The distinction between rules and similarity is therefore misconceived.