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Natural Language Analysis and the Psychology of Verbal Behavior: The Past, Present, and Future States of the Field

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/01/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Language and Social Psychology
Issue number1
Volume40
Number of pages21
Pages (from-to)21-41
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date28/10/20
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Throughout history, scholars and laypeople alike have believed that our words contain subtle clues about what we are like as people, psychologically speaking. However, the ways in which language has been used to infer psychological processes has seen dramatic shifts over time and, with modern computational technologies and digital data sources, we are on the verge of a massive revolution in language analysis research. In this article, we discuss the past and current states of research at the intersection of language analysis and psychology, summarizing the central successes and shortcomings of psychological text analysis to date. We additionally outline and discuss a critical need for language analysis practitioners in the social sciences to expand their view of verbal behavior. Lastly, we discuss the trajectory of interdisciplinary research on language and the challenges of integrating analysis methods across paradigms, recommending promising future directions for the field along the way.