A thoughtful reader sent me the link to Michael Kelley’s piece, “Scientists Used Facebook for the Largest Ever Study of Language and Personality, about a fascinating study done by University of Pennsylvania researchers, “Personality, Gender, and Age in the Language of Social Media.”
They used 700 million words, phrases, and topic instances taken from Facebook, from 75,000 volunteers, to analyze linguistic patterns. This might not sound fascinating, but looking at the word clouds generated by this study is riveting.
They generated word clouds that track the traits of introversion and extroversion, neuroticism and emotional stability, gender, and age. It’s quite funny to compare the word clouds generated by 13-18 year old, 19-22 year olds, 23-29 year olds, and 30-65 year olds (I didn’t notice an explanation of why they picked these particular age groupings).