The Mapping of Spanish Social Psychology through Its Conferences: A Bibliometric Perspective

Article excerpt

This study of papers gathered from the proceedings presented at Spanish social psychology conferences explores the use of bibliometrics for studying scientific disciplines. A reference database of all the papers included in the conference proceedings of events held from 1983 to 2000 was generated and classified by thematic area, paper type and author institutional affiliation. The references were laid out on contingency tables and mapped with correspondence analysis. The results show that there is a growing number of co-authored papers and a predominance of empirical over theoretical paper types. Some institutions have a higher concentration of theoretical papers while others work mostly in the areas of organizational and health psychology. In terms of empirical papers, there is a tendency towards generating more qualitative-based studies over the span of time captured by this work. There are also a number of papers written about such areas as cultural psychology that points to the emergence of an interest in critical social psychology. Concluding remarks underline the role of conferences and scientific meetings as an important indicator of the dynamic development of a scientific discipline.

Keywords: Spanish social psychology; bibliometrics, conference proceedings, subject areas, types of studies

Este estudio de trabajos recogidos de las actas presentadas en conferencias de Psicología Social española explora el uso de los bibliométricos para estudiar las disciplinas científicas. Se generó y se clasificó por área temática, tipo de trabajo y afiliación institucional del autor una base de datos de referencia de todos los trabajos incluidos en las actas de las conferencias de eventos celebradas desde 1983 hasta 2000. Se ordenaron las referencias en tablas de contingencia correlacionadas con análisis de correspondencia. Los resultados muestran que el número de trabajos con co-autores incrementa y hay predominancia de trabajos de tipo empírico sobre teórico. Algunas instituciones tienen mayor concentración de trabajos teóricos, mientras que otras trabajan más en las áreas de la psicología organizacional y de la salud. En términos de trabajos empíricos, hay una tendencia hacia la generación de estudios con más base cualitativa en el intervalo temporal captado por este trabajo. También hay un número de trabajos escritos sobre áreas tales como la psicología cultural, lo que indica la emergencia de un interés en la psicología social crítica. Los comentarios finales subrayan el papel de las conferencias y encuentros científicos como un indicador importante del desarrollo dinámico de una disciplina científica.

Palabras clave: psicología Social española, bibliométricos, actas de conferencias, áreas temáticas, tipos de estudios

Amalio Blanco and Luis de la Corte (2001) published an article in this same journal detailing the theoretical and research production of Spanish Social Psychology for the decade from 1989 to 1998, based on information gathered from databases such as MEDLINE, PsycLIT, ERIC and PSICODOC98 as well as on papers presented at five Spanish social psychology conferences. The authors point out that the fundamental areas of investigation were: a) work and organizational psychology; b) social psychology of health; c) social service and community psychology; d) environmental psychology; e) legal and political psychology; f) psychosocial theory and meta-theory; g) social psychology of language; h) emotion research; and i) the area of group processes and social identity. They conclude that the growing importance of social psychology within Spanish psychology is closely linked to the context of Spanish social problems while also insisting that the relative scarcity of theoretical originality in Spanish psychology is due to a strong Anglo- Saxon influence in the discipline1.

This article describes a somewhat similar study with relevant differences regarding its data and method: a) it is exclusively based on the conference proceeding papers of eight social psychology conferences or meetings held in Spain from 1983 to 2000; b) a descriptive analysis is carried out by means of bibliometric procedures; c) conference papers have been classified according to their thematic area, paper type and author institutional affiliation; and d) a correspondence analysis is done to determine relationships between all of the aforementioned categories. …