ERIC Number: ED258600
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: N/A
Terminology of the Social Sciences: The Term "Cognitive Processes" in the Thesauri of Two Discipline-Based Information Systems.
Sahli, Marilyn Sue
Analysis of current methods for achieving compatibility or convertibility between two or more indexing languages draws attention to the need for a switching language to establish equivalency between concepts, not terms. In order to examine the assumption of the conceptual equivalency of identical terms in the indexing languages of related subject fields, a specific case in which a single term appears to have different meanings in the information systems for two social science disciplines is examined. Hierarchical charts constructed to display the arrays under the term "cognitive processes" in the ERIC Thesaurus and the Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms demonstrated that the term appears in different hierarchical frameworks in the two indexing languages. Three hypotheses were proposed to account for the observed differences. The first hypothesis, that "cognitive processes" represents different concepts to educationists and psychologists, was rejected by examination of formal definitions. A comparison of textbooks on cognitive processes for the two disciplines did not provide evidence to support the second hypothesis, that educationists and psychologists view the concept within different conceptual frameworks. The third hypothesis, that the two hierarchies represent research interests in the two fields, was rejected following an investigation of current journal articles. The results suggest that the nature of social science terminology and problems associated with its use in indexing languages would prove to be a fruitful area of research with specific ramifications for the design of switching languages. (Author/BBM)
Descriptors: Comparative Analysis, Databases, Definitions, Education, Hypothesis Testing, Indexing, Information Systems, Psychology, Social Sciences, Subject Index Terms, Thesauri, Vertical Organization
University Microfilms International, 300 N. Zeeb Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48106 (Order No. AAD81-18804).
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A