What’s New with The Psychological Record?

In this month’s blog I am grateful to introduce you to Dr. Mitch Fryling (California State University) who has kindly agreed to inform us of some of the exciting research work that is being published in the journal, The Psychological Record, of which he is Editor-in-Chief. Furthermore, Mitch highlights some interesting new developments at the journal which will appeal to a broad spectrum of behavioral researchers.  Dr. Ian Tyndall, University of Chichester, UK



What is The Psychological Record?

The Psychological Record (TPR) is a journal with a long history and was founded in 1937 by J. R. Kantor (the original interbehaviorist!). The first editor of the experimental section of the journal was B. F. Skinner. That’s some start for a journal eh?


TPR is now one of five journals published by ABAI and Springer. Each of the ABAI journals has a unique mission and focus. TPR’s focus 1- Spans the field of behavior analysis, behavior science and behavior theory, and 2- Presents studies of basic behavioral processes, and research that bridges experimental and applied analyses of behavior. This specific behavior analytic focus is important to note, as the journal had a bit more of an eclectic mission prior to being acquired by ABAI and Springer in 2014. TPR has a long historyof publishing research that pertains to the behavior analysis of language and cognition, especially as it relates to the study of derived stimulus relations.

Consistent with the broad behavior analytic mission of the journal, TPR publishes articles that focus on a wide range of topics in behavior analysis. For example, the journal has a long history of publishing work in the area of behavioral theory and philosophy, broadly speaking. Importantly, TPR has no particular theoretical focus or preference within this area, however, and has been the home to behavior analytic work influenced by a variety of theories (e.g., Skinner’s work, Relational Frame Theory, Interbehavioral Psychology, and more).

The journal also publishes experimental work, including that which focuses more specifically on basic processes and that which might be considered more translational in nature. In recent times much of this research has involved explorations of processes involved in stimulus equivalence, implicit responding, delay discounting, and more. As mentioned above, much of this research has direct implications for the behavior analysis of language and cognition.

While TPR doesn’t focus on publishing more traditional applied/clinical research, there are times where research which is more applied in nature is published in the journal. I encourage researchers to reach out to the editor (that’s me), if they have questions about the extent to which their manuscript is a match with the mission of the journal (thepsychrecord@gmail.com).

Finally, consistent with other journals in the field, TPR hopes to develop a brief report category in the coming months. The aim of this submission category is to facilitate the publication of replications, brief commentaries, and more. We look forward to this development, and expect to articulate the requirements for submissions to this new category in the near future (stay tuned to the TPR website).


The June 2019 Issue

The most recent issue of TPR reflects the broad mission of the journal. A total of 13 articles were included in the issue, including research on stimulus equivalence, a study exploring transfer of function and influencing children’s food preferences, research on the implicit relational assessment procedure, a study exploring the use of delays to reduce paper consumption, a behavioral economic analysis of texting while driving, a social connectedness intervention to reduce burnout, a theoretical article on conditioned inhibition and more. As can be seen from this brief list, the journal publishes research related to a wide range of topics with implications for understanding basic processes and application to important social issues – the entire June issue can be seen here.


My goal in this brief blog post was to introduce you to TPR and give you a taste for the sort of research that we’ve been publishing recently. A number of the research studies published in the journal have direct implications for the behavior analysis of language and cognition, and I hope that readers of this blog will turn to TPR to stay on top of the latest research in this area!