I do not believe that psychological papers are written in a way to alienate the laymen, it seems the language is used is intended to make the work succinct; I do however concede that some work can be laborious to read.
When writing psychological works we are often confronted with complex language that can be difficult to decipher. If psychology that studies humans is to be published than perhaps there is a case for those humans to understand it without having to spend extreme amounts of money and time gaining a degree in the topic. Whether a person is reading in a waiting room or they have just had their interest sparked in psychology it makes sense to write in a way that can be understood as to encourage interest in the field and even to dispel myths about it. I don’t know about you but i am sure some of my relatives think I’m studying how to be like Derren Brown.
Often i hear people speak about the jargon used in psychological works and how it can be frustrating when reading a particularly dense and long article to have to keep looking up words. I felt this way in first year i won’t deny it, however as I progressed and had to write many essays with an increasing amount of background research I learnt that they aren’t putting these complicated words in for the sake of it. Of course they aren’t going to write with the voice of an angst-y sixteen year old as they aren’t writing novels they are writing in a professional tone often about very serious topics. The scientific language used is so used as to increase efficiency, it is much easier to name a particular part of the brain than to spend a few hundred words describing where it is, what it does, what it looks like and why the hell it’s there.
From my understanding which may be flawed as will no doubt be pointed out, I have come to the viewpoint that much published psychology is read by students advancing their understanding and also by the qualified looking for new theories so they can stay aware of their expanding field, also for research into new studies they wish to run. While i believe this is the main purpose of the works in no way means it should be exclusively for them, anyone should have access, if they don’t understand it they probably also have the means to look it up, which, without the wish to appear condescending, will increase their vocabulary and understanding. When writing results section of a study run using the quantitative method people unfamiliar with the format will undoubtedly be confused by the stats as we all once were and might still be, however most papers usually explain what all the p = 0.5 figures mean. with graphs and other diagrams and lengthy and informative discussion sections i believe that current work uses language for the scientists but does not entirely alienate those outside the realm of study, also that this method may increase the vocabulary and individual understanding of those who attempt to read it.