Theoretical Psychology

Theoretical psychology is just what it sounds like. It is that branch of psychology which attempts to integrate findings from a variety of disciplines (most prominently psychology) to develop explanations of the mind and behaviour. It can be hard to publish as most psychology journals are only interested in reports of new experiments or traditional review papers. In these days of ERA control this can be very frustrating as ERA rankings only take into account publications for a departments nominated FoR code. Here are some journals which I know of which have published good theoretical psychology (not just in special issues) along with their FoR names and sometimes some commentary from me. Please let me know if I am missing any journals.

Journals that have a psychology FoR

Psychological Review

FoR: Psychology, Cognitive Science


FoR: Artificial Intelligence, Psychology, Cognitive Science

Annual Review of Psychology

FoR: Psychology, Cognitive Science

Psychological Inquiry: An International Journal for the Advancement of Psychological Theory

FoR: Psychology, Cognitive Science

Philosophical Psychology

FoR: Psychology, Philosophy, Cognitive Science

Trends in Cognitive Sciences

FoR: Artificial Intelligence, Psychology, Cognitive Science

Short theory and opinion pieces.

Philosophy, Psychiatry and Psychology

FoR: Psychology, Cognitive Science

Also has commentaries, some of my favourite papers are published here.

Theory and Psychology

FoR: Psychology, Cognitive Science

Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology

FoR: Psychology, Philosophy, Cognitive Science

Cognitive Neuropsychology

FoR: Psychology, Cognitive Science, Neurosciences

Consciousness and Cognition

FoR: Psychology, Philosophy, Cognitive Science

I once would have said this was one of the most important journal in theoretical psychology (with regards to consciousness), it is still important, but it seems to be publishing less theory the last few years (and quite a lot more “I did an experiment because I had to” papers).

Mind and Language

FoR: Philosophy, Cognitive Science, Psychology

A journal of some influence, but, like many of you I have horror stories of trying to deal with them.

Unknown FoR, but will likely get a psychology classification in the next ERA

Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research and Practice

A new journal, looks like it will be good. Trying not to spam it too hard as I have an assocaite editorship role there 🙂

Highly relevant journals that don’t have a psychology FoR

Behavioral and Brain Sciences

FoR: Artificial Intelligence, Neurosciences, Cognitive Science

Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences

FoR: Cognitive Science, Philosophy

I have published a couple of papers in PCS and have always found them to be highly professional. Despite sometimes giving the impression, they are not, strictly, limited to considering papers which directly relate to capital P Phenomenology but do consider papers taking a variety of approaches to the study of consciousness.

Journal of Consciousness Studies

FoR: Philosophy, Cognitive Science

Cognitive Neuropsychiatry

FoR: Medical and Health Sciences, Psychology and Cognitive Science

Weirdly classified

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research

For: Philosophy, Cognitive Science

It has a reputation as an important philosophy journal and occasionally publishes work relevant to theoretical psychology, the quality of that work is, however, highly variable.

Avant: The Journal of the Philosophical-Interdisciplinary Vanguard (Trends in interdisciplinary studies and philosophy of science)