What subject headings are used for materials on psychology and other disciplines?

ANSS Subject and Bibliographic Access Committee
Question/Answer on cataloging issues – June 2013

What subject headings are used for materials on psychology and other disciplines?

By Isabel del Carmen Quintana, Harvard University

There are a number of subject headings available for works on psychology and another topic in Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH). More subject headings may also be established in the future as new materials are published.

The existing subject headings are:

Psychology and art (May subdivide geographically)
Psychology and literature
Psychology and philosophy (May subdivide geographically)
Psychology and religion (May subdivide geographically)
Psychology and the humanities (May subdivide geographically)

There are also a few subject headings where psychology is the second term, such as:

Astrology and psychology
Communism and psychology (May subdivide geographically)
Judaism and psychology (May subdivide geographically)
Medicine and psychology (May subdivide geographically)

There is always a cross-reference in LCSH from the second term, so the latest subject headings can be found by browsing “Psychology and …”

There are also other techniques one can use to bring out psychological aspects of a topic. The most common is the subdivision “Psychological aspects.”

This subdivision can be used “as a topical subdivision under topical headings other than religious topics for works on the influence of conditions, activities, objects, etc., on the mental condition or personality of individuals.”

Some examples would be:

Advertising—Psychological aspects
Alcoholism—Psychological aspects
Color—Psychological aspects
Communication—Psychological aspects
Nahuatl literature—Psychological aspects

Religious works are excluded. Instead the subdivision “Psychology” is used “under uniform titles of sacred works, religions, and religious topics for the psychological aspects of those works or topics.”

Some examples would be:

Popol Vuh—Psychology

The subdivision “Psychology” is also used under “names of individual persons for discussions or interpretations of the person’s psychological traits, personality, character, etc. Also use under classes of persons, ethnic groups, and individual and groups of animals for the mental processes or characteristics of those persons or animals.”

Some examples would be:

Boas, Franz, 1858-1942—Psychology
Anal (Indic people)—Psychology

Librarians have an opportunity to bring out the psychological importance of material by one of the methods above – either by adding of the freely used subdivisions (Psychological aspects, or, Psychology) to a subject; or by using of one of the [topic]—and—[topic] subject headings dealing with psychology that are established in LCSH.