Werven, J.F. van
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The current study investigates to what extent the term 'recursion' is perceived differently among scholars from different fields. It is shown that recursion started out as a mathematical term, became a well-known tool in computer science and linguistics and then moved further to psychology and cognitive biology. Due to misinterpretations, the term lost some important characteristics along the way, such as the fact that it is a procedure rather than a structure. It is furthermore investigated to what exactly the different understandings are due by considering the historical background that they draw upon, and it appears that there are at least three reasons for misunderstanding recursion.