Mapping the field of psychology : Trends in research topics 1995–2015

Faculty/Professorship: Sociological Theory  
Author(s): Wieczorek, Oliver ; Unger, Saïd; Riebling, Jan Rasmus; Erhard, Lukas; Koß, Christian; Heiberger, Raphael H.
Title of the Journal: Scientometrics : an international journal for all quantitative aspects of the science of science, communication in science and science policy
ISSN: 0138-9130, 1588-2861
Publisher Information: Dordrecht [u.a.] : Springer Science + Business Media B.V.
Year of publication: 2021
Volume: 126
Issue: 12
Pages: 9699–9731
Language(s): English
DOI: 10.1007/s11192-021-04069-9
We map the topic structure of psychology utilizing a sample of over 500,000 abstracts of research articles and conference proceedings spanning two decades (1995–2015). To do so, we apply structural topic models to examine three research questions: (i) What are the discipline’s most prevalent research topics? (ii) How did the scientific discourse in psychology change over the last decades, especially since the advent of neurosciences? (iii) And was this change carried by high impact (HI) or less prestigious journals? Our results reveal that topics related to natural sciences are trending, while their ’counterparts’ leaning to humanities are declining in popularity. Those trends are even more pronounced in the leading outlets of the field. Furthermore, our findings indicate a continued interest in methodological topics accompanied by the ascent of neurosciences and related methods and technologies (e.g. fMRI’s). At the same time, other established approaches (e.g. psychoanalysis) become less popular and indicate a relative decline of topics related to the social sciences and the humanities.
GND Keywords: Psychologie; Forschungsgegenstand; Wissenschaftsgeschichte 1995-2015
Keywords: Psychology, Natural language processing, Structural topic model, Science of science
DDC Classification: 150 Psychology  
RVK Classification: CM 2000   
Peer Reviewed: Ja
International Distribution: Ja
Type: Article
Release Date: 25. June 2021
Project: ABD - Aufbruch, Abbruch, oder Durchbruch? Erforschung akademischer Karrieren