With reference to social constructivist approaches on citing behavior in the sciences, the hypothesis of acceleration of citing
behavior after the millennium was empirically tested for a stratified random sample of exemplary psychology journal articles.
The sample consists of 45 English and 45 German articles published in the years 1985 versus 1995 versus 2005 in high impact
journals on developmental psychology, psychological diagnosis and assessment, and social psychology. Content analyses of the
reference lists refer to the total number of references cited in the articles and the publication years of all references.
In addition, the number of self-references, the number of pages, and the number of authors were determined for each article.
Results show that there is no acceleration of citing behavior; rather, on the contrary, a significant trend is revealed for
an increase in authors’ citing somewhat older references in the newer journal articles. Significant main effects point also
at more citations of somewhat older references in the English (vs. German) journal articles as well as in articles on social
psychology and psychological diagnosis (vs. on developmental psychology). Complementary analyses show that multiple authorships
and the number of pages as well as the total number of references and the number of self-references increase significantly
with time. However, percentage of self-references remains quite stable at about 10%. Some methodological and statistical traps
in bibliometric testing the starting hypothesis are considered. Thus, the talk that has been circulating among psychology
colleagues and students on the potential millennium effects on citing behavior in the sciences (which can, however, become
a self-fulfilling prophecy) are not confirmed—at least for psychology journals.