Words are everywhere: on the streets, at work, at home, and online. Intuition tells us that the things that a person says, types, and writes can tell us a lot about who they are. Thankfully, there’s a lot of science that tells us the same thing. In fact, the words that we use on a daily basis may be even more revealing that you’d think. Over the past 2 decades, the Pennebaker lab has found that the ways that we write and talk are powerful clues as to our emotions, personalities, motivations, and other parts of our mental universes. By using automated text analysis, it is possible to discover things like whether or not someone is depressed, what their social status is, and even if they’re telling the truth. Language is deeply psychological, and we’re aiming to find out just how deep the rabbit hole goes.
On this site, you can get to know the members of the Pennebaker Language Lab, see some of their work, and start your journey into the fascinating world of words!