Psychological Implications of Word Usage

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Science  17 May 1963:
Vol. 140, Issue 3568, pp. 775-781
DOI: 10.1126/science.140.3568.775


We do not mean to imply that research on individual differences in word usage is easy or that investigations typically meet with success. Many studies have failed, either because no reliable categories of words were found or, if such categories were found, because no significant correlations were obtained with other forms of behavior. Only the naïve would expect to find more than rather small correlations between individual differences in learning, perception, and social behavior and differences in word usage. Human behavior is so complexly determined that it is illogical to expect various kinds of individual differences to correlate highly. In order to document such small correlations it is necessary to work with relatively large samples of subjects. Usually 300 subjects or more are required for a study.