Journal article

From "Sooo Excited!!!" to "So Proud": Using Language to Study Development

Margaret L Kern, Johannes C Eichstaedt, H Andrew Schwartz, Gregory Park, Lyle H Ungar, David J Stillwell, Michal Kosinski, Lukasz Dziurzynski, Martin EP Seligman

DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY | AMER PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOC | Published : 2014

Abstract

We introduce a new method, differential language analysis (DLA), for studying human development in which computational linguistics are used to analyze the big data available through online social media in light of psychological theory. Our open vocabulary DLA approach finds words, phrases, and topics that distinguish groups of people based on 1 or more characteristics. Using a data set of over 70,000 Facebook users, we identify how word and topic use vary as a function of age and compile cohort specific words and phrases into visual summaries that are face valid and intuitively meaningful. We demonstrate how this methodology can be used to test developmental hypotheses, using the aging posit..

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