Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To access to IJP Open with a PEP-Web subscription…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Having a PEP-Web subscription grants you access to IJP Open. This new feature allows you to access and review some articles of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis before their publication. The free subscription to IJP Open is required, and you can access it by clicking here.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Spence, D.P. (1980). Lawfulness in Lexical Choice: A Natural Experiment. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 28:115-132.

(1980). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 28:115-132

Lawfulness in Lexical Choice: A Natural Experiment

Donald P. Spence, Ph.D.


The choice of specific words during face-to-face conversations may be just as overdetermined as the choice of words during free association. To explore this hypothesis, we looked in detail at three words used by patients who were at risk for cervical cancer and who were interviewed during a hospital visit for cone biopsy. We hypothesized that an ongoing disease process would influence choice of language, even though the interviews were conducted before the patients were informed of the results of the biopsy. We also hypothesized that choice of words by the interviewer would be affected by the patient's language. More distant derivatives, if they can be identified, may also behave in an equally lawful manner, and further research is needed to find ways of uncovering and measuring these silent markers.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2019, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.