I found the cluster analysis exercise quite enlightening. My secondary academic field is psychology. I chose this because both my secondary areas of body image and quiet activism fall within this academic field. The top ten words that appeared in my WordCloud were:
1. Psychology / Psychological – 308
2. Cultural / Culture – 303
3. Social – 155
4. Intentional – 96
5. Mind / Mental – 97
6. Memory – 88
7. Knowledge – 87
8. Central – 83
9. Processing – 80
10. Cognitive – 73
“Psychology” topped the list, as the academic field of study in which I conducted the search. “Social” was the second most frequently used word, which I did not find surprising, as psychology is a social field. In fact, the key reason that psychology is my secondary research is because of the social aspect.
I noticed that many other words centered around the brain and processing functions, such as “knowledge”, “processing”, “memory”, “cognitive”, “memory”, “mind”, “mental” and “thinking”. The brain and processing mechanisms are central to psychology, as psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behavior, according to the American PsychologicalAssociation (McLeod). According to Mischel, “The discipline of psychology is broadly divisible into two parts: a large profession of practitioners and a smaller but growing science of mind, brain, and social behavior” (Mischel). Therefore, it shouldn’t be a surprise that we see many words related to social, mind and brain in the bibliographic essays on psychology. The reason I chose the image of a brain for my wordcloud is because of the connection between the mind and psychology. The areas in particular that I want to study are, body image, socially constructed messages and interpretations of gender/body norms, therefore the concepts of the mind and human behavior are critical concepts to understand.
The term “behaviorism” also appeared frequently, which makes sense, as during the first half of the 20th century, behaviorism dominated American psychology (Chodorow and Manning). Behaviorism is the theory and approach that seeks to understand the behavior of humans and animals. Behaviorism is built upon the phrase “behave is what organisms do”, meaning it’s the understanding of individual organisms, not social groups or cultures (Graham).
However, I was surprised that I didn’t see the words “structuralism” or “functionalism” come up in any of the articles. In the early days of psychology, structuralism and functionalism were the two dominant theoretical perspectives regarding how the brain worked.
“Freud” was only mentioned once, but I would have expected to see more about Freud given his influence in the field of psychology. One of my articles as a bibliographic essay of cognition and memory and explored the history and issues in cognitive psychology, therefore I was especially surprised that Freud wasn’t mentioned given his role in popularizing the theories of psychoanalysis and the unconscious (Sigmund Freud). While William Wundt is known as the “father of psychology”, Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Alfred Adler and William James are also extremely influential figures in the field of psychology. Only Wundt and Freud were mentioned at all and each only mentioned one time.
Plato was also hugely influential in the fields of psychology and rhetoric. Plato and other philosophers developed the thoughts and methods that greatly influenced the concepts of psychology that we know today. Of course, Plato also was extremely influential in the field of rhetorics. “Plato”, “Platonist”, “Platonistic” and “Platonic” were all mentioned many times in the articles. The fields of rhetorics and psychology can interplay on each other.
I also noticed some overlap in the terminology in the articles on psychology with the field of rhetorics, including “theory”, “literary” and “language”. I found this reassuring, as given the interconnectedness of the fields of rhetorics, communications and psychology, I believe I will be able to make correlations between the research and connect the bricolage of topics in my dissertation with common theories and ideas.
Bruffee, Kenneth A. “Social Construction, Language, and the Authority of Knowledge: A Bibliographical Essay.” College English, vol. 48, no. 8, Dec. 1986, pp. 773-790.
Chodorow, Martin S., and Susan Karp Manning. “Cognition and Memory: A Bibliographic Essay on the History and Issues.” Teaching of Psychology, vol. 10, no. 3, 1983, pp. 163-167., doi:10.1207/s15328023top1003_11.
Graham, George, “Behaviorism”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2019 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2019/entries/behaviorism/>.
McLeod, Saul. What is Psychology? Simply Psychology.
Mischel, Walter. Psychology. Encyclopedia Brittanica. https://www.britannica.com/science/psychology
Shweder , Richard A. “Why Cultural Psychology?” Ethos , Mar. 1999, pp. 1-43., doi:10.1525/eth.1918.104.22.168.
“Sigmund Freud: The Man Who Revolutionized Psychology With Psychoanalysis.” Psychologist World, www.psychologistworld.com/psychologists/sigmund-freud.