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Heine, Jörg-Henrik and Spörrle, Matthias (July 2008): Understanding the Internet: Psychological word norms as indicators of query-specific internet word frequencies. International Congress of Psychology, Berlin, Germany, 20. - 25. July 2008. International Journal of Psychology. Vol. 43, No. 3/4 p. 314 [PDF, 460kB]


By using existing psychological word norms obtained by rating procedures we try to predict the frequencies of search hits derived from internet search engines. We used several major search engines and repeated measurement to develop a highly reliable scale of internet word frequency. We presumed that psychological criteria like typicality and valence of nouns predict the frequencies of search-operator-specific frequencies of internet search hits. Regression analysis confirmed this assumption indicating that the verbal content of the internet as interactive mass medium can be predicted by already existing and established psychological characteristics of words.

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