Concept creep: Expanding concepts of harm and their implications

Grant number: DP170104948 | Funding period: 2017 - 2020

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Abstract

This project aims to document how the meanings of psychological concepts – mental disorder, trauma, abuse, prejudice, and bullying, among others – have changed in recent decades. Their meanings now refer to a broader range of phenomena than before. Using experimental and computerized text analysis, this project will document these historical changes in the scientific literature, the culture at large and the general public. It aims to clarify the cultural dynamics that drive ‘concept creep’, proposing that it reflects a rising sensitivity to harm, and examine the complex social implications of expanded definitions of harm. It expects to evaluate major cultural shifts in how the public underst..

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