We analyzed co-citation patterns in 332,498 articles published in Anglophone psychology journals between 1946 and 1990 to estimate (1) when cognitive psychology first emerged as a clearly delineated subdiscipline, (2) how fast it grew, (3) to what extent it replaced other (e.g., behaviorist) approaches to psychology, (4) to what degree it was more appealing to scholars from a younger generation, and (5) whether it was more interdisciplinary than alternative traditions. We detected a major shift in the structure of co-citation networks between approximately 1955 and 1975 and draw novel conclusions about the developments commonly referred to as “the cognitive turn.”

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