Warmelink – “If you go down in the woods today…”

The FORGE is pleased to announce the next speaker for this year’s seminar series: Dr Lara Warmelink (Lancaster). Details of her talk can be found below:

“If you go down in the woods today…”

Psychologists use different types of automatic language tagging to help analyse participants’ statements in a quick and low cost way. Erik Mac Giolla, Sofia Calderon, Kalle Ask, Timothy Luke and I (all psychologists) were studying the effect of veracity on people’s concreteness when speaking about future actions. We hypothesised that liars would be less concrete than truth tellers. We received data from 6 studies in which participants were interviewed about their future plans, with instruction to either lie or tell the truth. The statements’ concreteness was measured using two automatic language taggers: one based on a 40.000 word dictionary of words rated for concreteness (Brysbaert, Warriner, & Kuperman, 2014) and one based on the Linguistics Category Model (Seih, Beier & Pennebaker, 2017), which uses Treetagger and WordSmith. Both analysis showed that there was no difference between liars and truth tellers in their levels of concreteness. We also found no correlation between the two measures, which led to some concerns about the validity of one (or both?) of the measures. This talk will discuss the problems we encountered and invite your thoughts about the usefulness of operationalizing psychological concepts by language tagging.

1100-1200, Wed 31st Oct, County South B89