Posted by & filed under General Psychology, Legal Ethical Issues, Research Methods.

Description: Are you taking a Psychology course this term and will have to write a paper or even just ask a question? Are you working on a piece of research in Psychology? Are you writing an article or a blog about aspects of Psychology (me too!!)? Well if you are doing any of these things then the article below is for you. In writing about any scientific enterprise, and Psychology is no exception, one needs to be careful of the words and phrases one choses to use as they relate to concepts, methodologies and analytic procedures if you are trying to be clear and sensible. So have a read through the article linked below for some (50!) invaluable suggestions. Oh, when you get down to it, pleonasm is the use of more words than are necessary to convey meaning.

Source: Fifty psychological and psychiatric terns to avoid: a list of inaccurate, misleading, misused, ambiguous, and logically confused words and phrases, Lilienfeld, S. O., Sauvigné, K. C., Lynn, S. J., Cautin, R. L., Latzman, R. D., & Waldman, I. D. (2015). Fifty psychological and psychiatric terms to avoid: a list of inaccurate, misleading, misused, ambiguous, and logically confused words and phrases. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 1100.

Date: August 3, 2019


Article Link:

You are now armed to write more clearly when you write about Psychological theories concepts and research and, if you want, you are even prepared to pick a few nits (be picky) with the language your Psychology professor may be using in their lectures, though perhaps better to save such observations for after class discussions of for your own written work.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. In what ways is the term ‘comorbidity’ potentially ambiguous?
  2. Do you agree that the Freudian term ‘denial’ has been misappropriated in recent years, particularly by writings on, or discussion about, addiction?
  3. Are there other claims or observations made in the linked article that you would take issue with (and defend current usage)?

References (Read Further):

There is an extensive reference list at the end of the article linked above where you can get find articles relating to each of the 50-psychology concept/word usage concerns.

Google “misuse of psychological terms” for a huge array of page links in this area.