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PLoS One. 2013 Sep 25;8(9):e73791. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0073791. eCollection 2013.

Personality, gender, and age in the language of social media: the open-vocabulary approach.

Author information

1
Positive Psychology Center, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America ; Computer & Information Science, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America.

Abstract

We analyzed 700 million words, phrases, and topic instances collected from the Facebook messages of 75,000 volunteers, who also took standard personality tests, and found striking variations in language with personality, gender, and age. In our open-vocabulary technique, the data itself drives a comprehensive exploration of language that distinguishes people, finding connections that are not captured with traditional closed-vocabulary word-category analyses. Our analyses shed new light on psychosocial processes yielding results that are face valid (e.g., subjects living in high elevations talk about the mountains), tie in with other research (e.g., neurotic people disproportionately use the phrase 'sick of' and the word 'depressed'), suggest new hypotheses (e.g., an active life implies emotional stability), and give detailed insights (males use the possessive 'my' when mentioning their 'wife' or 'girlfriend' more often than females use 'my' with 'husband' or 'boyfriend'). To date, this represents the largest study, by an order of magnitude, of language and personality.

PMID:
24086296
PMCID:
PMC3783449
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0073791
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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