5.02.2013

Getting in touch with our feelings

If the goal of our work is to improve global human welfare, we should be finding ways to measure it.

The Expression of Emotions in 20th Century Books
Alberto Acerbi, Vasileios Lampos, Philip Garnett, R. Alexander Bentley
Abstract: We report here trends in the usage of “mood” words, that is, words carrying emotional content, in 20th century English language books, using the data set provided by Google that includes word frequencies in roughly 4% of all books published up to the year 2008. We find evidence for distinct historical periods of positive and negative moods, underlain by a general decrease in the use of emotion-related words through time. Finally, we show that, in books, American English has become decidedly more “emotional” than British English in the last half-century, as a part of a more general increase of the stylistic divergence between the two variants of English language.
Historical periods of positive and negative moods. Difference between -scores of Joy and Sadness for years from 1900 to 2000 (raw data and smoothed trend). Values above zero indicate generally ‘happy’ periods, and values below the zero indicate generally ‘sad’ periods.

People are unhappy during economic depressions and world wars...

h/t Brenda

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post a Comment