I'm trying to understand the phrase 素朴概念 in the following context (this is regarding pair programming):


I've found some blogs and webpages using 'naive concept' as a direct English equivalent, but I don't get how that fits with the above sentence in context. Is the jist of it something like, "If both people hit a roadblock with their understanding of a certain topic, it strengthens their misunderstanding of the topic?"

Edit: I'm also having trouble with 誤概念, another term I've never heard of and can't seem to track down a translation of online to help me understand. I'm guessing 'false concept' may be the meaning, but would love any opinions.

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    素朴概念 and 誤概念 can be literally translated as primitive concept and errornous concept respectively, But to me both words sound funny as Japanese language. Why don't you ask Japanese around you if they are familar with both of words. I bet nine out of ten don't know them, and wouldn't be able to offer you a satisfactory answer. Both of them are not considered to be 汎用語ーcommon word, which you can find in any of Japanese language dictionaries. I recommend you not use these words to Japanese in public, because they are not established words. Commented Jan 3, 2016 at 2:52
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    素朴概念 seems to be an established term in developmental psychology, and it seems to fit in the context, too. But I didn't know this term, either.
    – naruto
    Commented Jan 3, 2016 at 3:13
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    naruto's right. They are psychological terms translate naïve conception and misconception, respectively. Commented Jan 3, 2016 at 3:48
  • It looks to me like translation from English: the two words mentioned above are surely translations of "preconception" (as the URL of the Japanese page shows us) and "misconception". Commented Jan 3, 2016 at 3:57
  • If they are translation of preconception and misconception, there are well-established Japanese words, 先入観 for preconception and 誤解 / 勘違い / for misconception, both of which you can find easily in any of English Japanese dictionaries. But you'll not find 素朴概念 and 誤概念 in neither "marketable" Japanese Language dictionary nor English Japanese dicionaries at least in my knowledge. Commented Jan 3, 2016 at 8:54

2 Answers 2


I suspect that the word that is hindering your understanding of the passage is 「[強化]{きょうか}」 rather than 「[素朴概念]{そぼくがいねん}」. 「強化」 can mean "strengthening something" in either a positive or negative direction. In this context, it is used in the negative sense. Try thinking of it as "magnifying".

「素朴概念」 fits right in the context. BTW, it means "naive conception" rather than "naive concept".

The sentence is saying the following; This is a summary rather than a translation.

If you leave alone a pair of students who happen to not understand the same topic and let them study on their own, what might happen? The author gives two examples of what could happen and both are negative (or at least non-ideal) phenomena. 

1) 「素朴概念を強化してしまう」 It could lead to strengthening their naive conception which is false to begin with.

2) 「典型的な誤概念に陥ってしまう」 They could fall into a typical misconception.

In this context, 「素朴概念」 and 「誤概念」 are used to mean practically the same thing -- a misconception that is not based on scientific knowledge.

  • 「強化」 is "reinforce", both literally as in concrete, and in "reinforcing a misconception". Commented Jan 3, 2016 at 3:58

I'd like to spplement my comment I put earlier to this question. Both 素朴概念 and 誤概念 can be translated as "primitive (or pristine) concept" and "erroneous concept." But I suspect 素朴概念 (and perhaps 誤概念 as well) is a neology of the author. This is the first time I came across these two words.

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