From the blog Psychology of Programming, these excerpts from a 1995 paper on object-oriented programming published in Human-Computer Interaction have some fascinating comments from cognitive psychology research as applied to programming language design:
In careful experiments, Gentner (1981; Gentner & France, 1988) showed that, when people are asked to repair a simple sentence with an anomalous subject-verb combination, they almost always change the verb and leave the noun as it is, independent of their relative positions. This suggests that people take the noun (i.e. the object) as the basic reference point. Models based on objects may be superior to models based on other primitives, such as behaviours.