Journal of Social Sciences

Finding What You Expect to See: Theoretical Modeling in Psycholinguistics

Kathleen Ahrens

DOI : 10.3844/jssp.2012.372.380

Journal of Social Sciences

Volume 8, Issue 3

Pages 372-380


Problem statement: Theories of language processing rely upon experimental evidence to support or reject their hypotheses. Yet it is often the case that conflicting theories flourish alongside each other for decades, with voluminous experimental evidence to support their respective hypotheses. Approach: In this study, I suggest it is imperative for researchers to move beyond their own experiments and results to embrace different methodologies. With respect to language processing in particular, it is reasonable to suggest that the brain needs to perform a variety of tasks under a variety of conditions (or contexts). Results: Looked at in this way, the varying results do not suggest that one or the other theory is right and the other wrong. Conclusion: Instead, it suggests that conflicting theories are supported by a plethora of data precisely because different contexts require the brain to process language in different ways.


© 2012 Kathleen Ahrens. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.