This paper demonstrates how cognitive psychology can contribute to the development of ontologies for semantic technologies and the semantic web. Specifically, the way in which the human cognitive system structures and processes conceptual information can act as a model for structuring formal ontologies, and can guide knowledge elicitation and the use of controlled natural languages. One conclusion is that during knowledge elicitation the dynamic nature of human information retrieval needs to be taken into account to obtain an ontology that is appropriate for its context of use. A further practical implication is that ontology developers need to be more specific and explicit about what they mean by the term ontology (e.g. does an ontology describe typical concept attributes or attributes that are true of most instances?) when explaining the use of concepts in ontologies to domain experts.
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