Think on KERA

What can be gleaned about a person by the words they choose in conversations, emails and text messages? We’ll find out this hour with James W. Pennebaker, Regents Centennial Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychology at the University of Texas. His new book is “The Secret Life of Pronouns: What Our Words Say About Us” (Bloomsbury Press, 2011).

Listen to the interview here. (Posted for a limited time only.)

Tags: Think, language, pronouns, verbiage, words

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From New Scientist: The secret life of pronouns

STOP for a moment and think about your most recent conversation, email, tweet or text message. Perhaps you think you said something about dinner plans, domestic chores or work. And you probably did. But at the same time, you said much more. The precise words you used revealed more about you than you can imagine.

Hidden inside language are small, stealthy words that can reveal a great deal about your personality, thinking style, emotional state and connections with others. These words account for less than 0.1 per cent of your vocabulary but make up more than half of the words commonly used. Your brain is not wired to notice them but if you pay close attention, you will start to see their subtle power.

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