The speaker is Dr Olga Bogolyubova (University of Malta).
The notion that one can learn something about character and psychological functioning of an individual by studying how this person uses language has been around for some time and dates back to Freud’s interest in slips of the tongue. Today, when social media has become ubiquitous, psychological science can benefit from historically unprecedented access to rich natural language data. Existing studies demonstrate that language used online is associated with personality traits, emotional states, and even health conditions. This talk will present two studies based on the data from a sample of Russian adult Facebook users (n = 1,972). Data collection was conducted in 2015 via a purpose-built application, which served two purposes: it administered the survey and collected public wall posts from Facebook accounts of consenting study participants. The aim of Study 1 was to assess the connection between dark personality traits, harmful online behaviors, and language. The Short Dark Triad Scale was employed to explore a set of objectionable personality traits – Psychopathy, Machiavellianism, and Narcissism. In Study 2, the focus was on the linguistic correlates of subjective wellbeing as measured by the WHO-5 instrument. In both studies participants’ wall posts were subjected to morphological, lexical, and semantic analyses. A number of significant linguistic correlates were identified for each of the psychological constructs under consideration.