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Mosher, P.W. (1998). Frequency of Word Use as Indicator of Evolution of Psychoanalytic Thought. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 46(2):577-581.

(1998). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 46(2):577-581

Frequency of Word Use as Indicator of Evolution of Psychoanalytic Thought

Paul W. Mosher

In this report I describe a simple method of studying the evolution of psychoanalytic ideas as they appear in the periodical literature. The method is simple enough that it may be used by any investigator with access to the CD-ROM made available in 1997 by Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing (PEP), a joint venture of the American Psychoanalytic Association and the Institute of Psycho-Analysis (London). The PEP CD-ROM Archive I contains the complete text of all material appearing in six core psychoanalytic journals from their inception. The journals included are International Journal of Psycho-Analysis (vols. 1-75), Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association (vols. 1-42), Psychoanalytic Quarterly (vols. 1-63), Psychoanalytic Study of the Child (vols. 1-48), International Review of Psycho-Analysis (vols. 1-19), and Contemporary Psychoanalysis (vols. 1-30). This vast storehouse of textual material, approximately 110 million words, has been converted to digital form and indexed to permit easy access to any of the material on the disc in a variety of ways, including full text searching using the powerful search program Folio Views, which is provided with the disc. The indexing scheme that is used is based on the underlying organization of the material into a special kind of database referred to by the Folio Views software as an “infobase.”

The fundamental unit of the textual organization is referred to as a “record,” which roughly corresponds to a paragraph of text. These records, or paragraphs, are organized into “articles” that correspond to

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Founding Board Member, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing; private practice of psychoanalysis, Albany, NY.

I would like to express my appreciation to George Klumpner and Joseph Schachter, both of whom have discussed ideas related to this project with me over the years.

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