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The Search for Cognitive Terminology: An Analysis of Comparative Psychology Journal Titles

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Psychology Department, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario P3E 2C6, Canada
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Laboratory of Comparative Psychology and Behavioral Biology, Departments of Psychology and Zoology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, 74078, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Behav. Sci. 2013, 3(1), 133-142; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs3010133
Received: 13 November 2012 / Revised: 30 January 2013 / Accepted: 31 January 2013 / Published: 7 February 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue What is Cognition?)
This research examines the employment of cognitive or mentalist words in the titles of articles from three comparative psychology journals (Journal of Comparative Psychology, International Journal of Comparative Psychology, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes; 8,572 titles, >100,000 words). The Dictionary of Affect in Language, coupled with a word search of titles, was employed to demonstrate cognitive creep. The use of cognitive terminology increased over time (1940–2010) and the increase was especially notable in comparison to the use of behavioral words, highlighting a progressively cognitivist approach to comparative research. Problems associated with the use of cognitive terminology in this domain include a lack of operationalization and a lack of portability. There were stylistic differences among journals including an increased use of words rated as pleasant and concrete across years for Journal of Comparative Psychology, and a greater use of emotionally unpleasant and concrete words in Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes. View Full-Text
Keywords: behaviorism; mentalist/cognitive terminology; titles; emotion behaviorism; mentalist/cognitive terminology; titles; emotion
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MDPI and ACS Style

Whissell, C.; Abramson, C.I.; Barber, K.R. The Search for Cognitive Terminology: An Analysis of Comparative Psychology Journal Titles. Behav. Sci. 2013, 3, 133-142. https://doi.org/10.3390/bs3010133

AMA Style

Whissell C, Abramson CI, Barber KR. The Search for Cognitive Terminology: An Analysis of Comparative Psychology Journal Titles. Behavioral Sciences. 2013; 3(1):133-142. https://doi.org/10.3390/bs3010133

Chicago/Turabian Style

Whissell, Cynthia, Charles I. Abramson, and Kelsey R. Barber. 2013. "The Search for Cognitive Terminology: An Analysis of Comparative Psychology Journal Titles" Behavioral Sciences 3, no. 1: 133-142. https://doi.org/10.3390/bs3010133

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