Monday, 25 April, 2022 - 14:00

Using computer-based text analysis to understand individuals, groups, and cultures

By analyzing the ways people use pronouns, prepositions, and other almost-invisible function words, it is possible to better understand their underlying social, personality, and psychological processes. Drawing on dozens of experiments and large-scale social media studies, we can identify word use associated with changes in status and leadership, deception, stress, thinking styles, social connections, and other states over time and culture. Pennebaker will discuss recent research on tracking the language changes of people dealing with COVID, cultural movements associated with nationalism and polarization, and the language of leaders intent on going to war. Advantages and shortcomings of using a social psychological approach based on text analytic methods will be discussed.


Professor Pennebaker's lecture is held within the Fulbright Specialist program under the auspices of the Faculty of Education, University of Hradec Králové.


Pennebaker is the Regents Centennial Professor of Psychology at the University of Texas. His early research focused on the ways writing about emotional upheavals can improve people's mental and physical health. For the last two decades he has worked closely with researchers in computer science, linguistics, communication, and other fields to understand the ways natural language can reflect psychological state. He has published over 300 scientific articles and 10 books. He is among the most cited social scientists in the world and the recipient of several national and international scientific awards.


***The talk will be delivered in person (MFF UK, Malostranské nám. 25, 4th floor, room S1) and will be streamed via Zoom. For details how to join the Zoom meeting, please write to sevcikova et***