this sort of research gives research a bad name. really? you're going to derive large-scale conclusions about the culture by sheer quantitative enumeration of the words used in books? look one thing this may reflect, for example, is changing conventions of narration or in general authorship. for example, use of the first-person singular has become much more frequent in academic writing. well, that is a shift in the conventions of authorship, but i doubt it reflects anything in particular about individualism: really we were trying to avoid the passive voice. maybe a higher percentage of novels are narrated in the first person now (thank god, few are narrated by 'we'); nothing directly follows about the 'individualism' of the culture. you know, some things still require thinkers with antennae; some things can only be addressed from some point of view or semi-artistically and not by counting.