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A theoretical coordination has long been needed of the increasing amount of psychological research using abstraction and concept formation as frames of reference. In an attempt to provide such a synthesis, the author, surveying the experimental work of previous decades, analyzes and clarifies terms in an effort to establish their relationships and possible synonymity, as well as interpreting and summarizing investigations. He also presents a general summary of historical problems, a discussion of current issues, and an indication of the most urgent tasks for future research.