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Home > Preconferences > Psychology Language

Location: Hyatt Regency (HR) Hanover D

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The analysis of language has long been a mainstay of mainstream psychology. Recently, fields as diverse as psychology, medicine, and the computational sciences, to name a few, have begun to adopt psychological language analysis to better understand human psychology in the real world. Furthermore, incredible advances have taken place in psychological analysis of language in the past 2 decades, particularly in the field of automated techniques for psychological measurement. As our field progresses into the worlds of big data and more rigorous methods, language analysis is more relevant now than perhaps ever before. This preconference will host talks from several leading researchers on the most up-to-date developments in language analysis for social/personality psychology. Talks will include discussions on data acquisition, the various methods/tools used in language analysis employed by pioneering labs from around the world, and highlights from cutting edge social/personality psychology research that uses language data.

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Featured Speakers:

(Additional speakers TBA as schedule is finalized)

Jamie Pennebaker headshot

James W. Pennebaker, University of Texas at Austin

James W. Pennebaker is the Regents Centennial Professor of Liberal Arts and Executive Director of Project 2021. He and his students are exploring natural language use, group dynamics, and personality in educational and other real world settings. His earlier work on expressive writing found that physical health and work performance can improve by simple writing and/or talking exercises. His cross-disciplinary research is related to linguistics, clinical and cognitive psychology, communications, medicine, and computer science. His current position with Project 2021 involves rethinking undergraduate education at the University of Texas. Author or editor of 9 books and over 250 articles, Pennebaker has received numerous awards and honors.

Jennifer Guo headshotJennifer Guo, Northwestern University

Jen Guo is a doctoral student in the Personality, Development, & Health Psychology program at Northwestern University. She received her bachelor's degree in Psychology and Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. Her research interests include the development of and changes to personality traits, motivations, and narrative identity across the lifespan.  Specifically, Jen uses qualitative methodologies and growth curve analysis to examine the different thematic qualities of people's life stories and how they relate to psychological and physiological well-being over time.

Morteza Dehghani headshot

Morteza Dehghani, University of Southern California

Morteza Dehghani is an Assistant Professor of psychology, computer science and the Brain and Creativity Institute (BCI) at University of Southern California. He is also the PI of USC’s Computational Social Sciences Laboratory (CSSL). Morteza’s research spans the boundary between psychology and artificial intelligence, as does my education. His work investigates properties of cognition by using documents of the social discourse, such as narratives, social media, transcriptions of speeches and news articles, in conjunction to behavioral studies. His research interests include: 1. Human Values 2. Theory Constrained Natural Language Processing 3. Neuro-Semantic Representations.

Vivian Ta headshotVivian Ta, University of Texas at Arlington

Vivian Ta is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Psychology at the University of Texas at Arlington under Dr. William Ickes. Her research investigates how language and communication patterns shape social and psychological dynamics, including common-ground understanding, deliberations, negotiations/compromise, misperception of disagreement, and relationships. She uses a combination of computational techniques (e.g., Latent Semantic Analysis) and text/discourse analyses to examine the influence of language on these social dynamics, both in face-to-face and computer-mediated interactions. Vivian’s current projects examine the development of common-ground understanding in politically contentious online discussions, and the impact of language, personality, and intergroup contact on misperception of disagreement.

Kelly Rentscher headshot

Kelly E. Rentscher, University of California, Los Angeles

Kelly E. Rentscher, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research involves a multi-method approach to studying how couples cope with stress and chronic illness, how relationship processes affect health over time (and vice versa), and how couple-focused interventions can target these processes to improve health outcomes. Her research employs linguistic analysis, observational, and naturalistic methodologies in laboratory and real-world settings.

Adam Fetterman headshotAdam K. Fetterman, University of Texas at El Paso

Adam Fetterman's research interests lie at the intersection of social, personality, and cognitive psychology. The major areas he focuses on are conceptual metaphors, nostalgia, mental imagery, and the combination of these topics. He also investigates the causes and consequences of wrongness admission, in relation to reputation and emotion. Utilizing methods from each of these fields, he investigates the cognitive processes involved in how people understand their social worlds and find meaning.

Andrew Schwartz headshotH. Andrew Schwartz, Stony Brook University

Andrew Schwartz is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Stony Brook University (SUNY). His interdisciplinary research focuses on large and scalable language analyses for health and social sciences. Utilizing natural language processing and machine learning techniques he seeks to discover new behavioral and psychological factors of health and well-being as manifest through language in social media. From 2012 to 2015, he was Lead Research Scientist for the World Well-Being Project at the University of Pennsylvania, an interdisciplinary team that grew to 15 full-time researchers studying how big language analyses can reveal and predict differences in health, personality, and well-being.  He received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Central Florida in 2011 with research on acquiring lexical semantic knowledge from the Web. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Wired, and The Washington Post.

Gloriana Rodríguez-Araúz headshotGloriana Rodríguez-Araúz, University of Connecticut

Gloriana Rodríguez-Araúz is a fifth year Ph.D. student at the Social Psychology division at University of Connecticut. Broadly, her research interests involve exploring the influence of culture and language on different individual and social outcomes. Specific projects of hers involve exploring the influence of biculturalism/bilingualism in personality descriptions and analyzing the language used in naturally occurring conversations around food between Latino and American pre-school children and their parents.

David Garcia headshotDavid Garcia, Complexity Science Hub Vienna and Medical University of Vienna

David Garcia is faculty member of the Complexity Science Hub and the Medical University of Vienna since September 2017, leading a research group funded by WWTF (Vienna Research Groups for Young Investigators Call). He holds computer science degrees from Universidad Autonoma de Madrid (Spain) and ETH Zurich (Switzerland). David did a PhD and Postdoc at ETH Zurich, working at the Chair of Systems Design. His research focuses on computational social science, designing models and analysing human behaviour through digital traces. His main work revolves around the topics of emotions, cultures, and political polarization, combining statistical analyses of large datasets of online interaction with agent-based modeling of individual behaviour.

Kayla Jordan headshotKayla N. Jordan, University of Texas at Austin

Kayla Jordan is a Ph.D. student in the Social-Personality Area at University of Texas at Austin with a Masters of Science in Experimental Psychology from Missouri State University. Her research focuses on political language, online search behavior, big data, and research methodology.

William Dunlop headshot

William Dunlop, University of California, Riverside

William L. Dunlop is an assistant professor of personality psychology at the University of California, Riverside. He examines personality, self, and identity using both idiographic and nomothetic approaches.

Laura Niemi headshot

Laura Niemi, Duke University

Laura Niemi conducts research at the intersection of moral psychology, cognitive science, and psycholinguistics. She is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow jointly sponsored by the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, the Department of Philosophy, and the Kenan Center for Ethics at Duke University. She begins as an Assistant Professor of Social Psychology and Global Justice at the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs in July 2018. She previously completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Psychology at Harvard University on an interdisciplinary project called The Psycholinguistics of Morality with Dr. Steven Pinker and Dr. Jesse Snedeker. She received her Ph.D. in Social Psychology and Social Neuroscience from Boston College in 2015, where she was advised by Dr. Liane Young in the Morality Lab. Laura investigates how social forces—such as ideology and membership in social categories—are reflected in systems of language use, thought, and action.

Monica Riordan headshotMonica Riordan, Chatham University

Monica Riordan is an assistant professor of psychology at Chatham University. She received her PhD in experimental psychology from the University of Memphis. She has research interests in the psychology of human interaction and has primarily conducted research regarding how interlocutors construct meaning both verbally and nonverbally in online contexts such as texting, email, and social media.

Kevin Lanning headshotKevin Lanning, Florida Atlantic University

Kevin Lanning is a Professor at the Wilkes Honors College of Florida Atlantic University. His research interests include personality measurement, the structure of scholarly networks, and political psychology. His embrace of computational methods and open science is a partial refutation of Max Planck's principle.

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Registration Rates graphic

Save $25 when you register for both convention and preconference together!

Registration for preconferences is limited and fills quickly.
Registration is now open and will not reopen once this preconference fills.

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Poster Session/Data Blitz:

Would you like to present a poster or Data Blitz talk at this year’s Psychology of Language Preconference? Emerging scholars (undergraduates, graduate students, and individuals who have received a Ph.D. within the past 5 years) are encouraged to submit an abstract for consideration as a poster. Exceptional submissions will be considered for a 4-minute Data Blitz talk as well.

Submissions should be emailed to Ryan L. Boyd (ryanboyd@utexas.edu) and are due no later than November 15th, 2017. In your submission, please include the following information:

  • Title of your talk/poster
  • Names of all authors.
  • Contact information & current title/position of the presenting author.
  • Abstract of no more than 250 words.
  • Whether you want your submission to be considered for a Data Blitz talk.

All submissions will be considered for poster presentations – exceptional submissions will be considered for Data Blitz talks as well. If you do not want your submission to be considered for a Data Blitz talk, please note this in your submissions.

Please feel free to contact any of the organizers with questions about the submissions.

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Ryan Boyd headshotAll questions and inquiries should be sent to Ryan L. Boyd, Ph.D.

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