New research provides evidence that extraverts tend to use more social process words and positive emotion words than their introverted counterparts. The findings have been published in the Journal of Research in Personality.
“We are passionate about how personality could be reflected in language use, and we found substantive variations in existing studies regarding the associations between extraversion and use of social process words as well as positive emotion words,” said study author Jiayu Chen of Nanyang Technological University.
“Thus, it is important to further confirm whether the two links exist and estimate the actual strengths of the associations, which can help identify robust and accurate linguistic markers of personality and improve personality prediction accuracy.”
The researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 37 studies, which included 82,132 participants in total. All of the studies included a measure of extraversion and used text analysis tools to quantify word usage patterns.
“The main finding of this study is that extraverts tend to use more positive emotion words (e.g., happy, love, nice) and social process words (e.g., talk, share, we) than introverts. Furthermore, we found that the two links were consistent regardless of gender and age,” Chen told PsyPost.
“Importantly, the link between extraversion and social process words was independent of communication contexts. For example, the strength of extraverts’ tendency to use social words was similar across synchronous (e.g., face-to-face conversations) and asynchronous communication (e.g., emails).”
“Interestingly, we found that the association between extraversion and positive emotion words was affected by some communication contexts. For instance, extraverts tend to use more positive emotion words in public (e.g., Facebook status update) than private (e.g., e-mail texts to a good friend) context, which may be due to impression management strategy,” Chen said.
Though the difference between introverts and extraverts was statistically significant, there was a large overlap between the two groups. The research team plans to investigate the relationship between extraversion and other word categories.
“The weak relationships suggest that more reliable linguistic indicators of extraversion are required. Thus, future studies may need to explore how extraversion is linked with other categories of word use, such as certainty words (e.g., always, never), and try to identify stronger linguistic markers,” Chen explained.
The findings could help marketers develop predictive algorithms to help them forecast what consumers want.
“Companies could identify people’s personality via language use more accurately and display personality-congruent ads/content to attract customers,” Chen said. “In addition, it could help big companies quickly identify jobseekers with personality traits that fits their needs. For example, when recruiting sales, a company may wish to recruit people who are good at socializing with others. By using personality prediction via language use, the company could efficiently identify extraverts from introverts without collecting people’s self-report personality.”
The study, “A meta-analysis of linguistic markers of extraversion: Positive emotion and social process words“, was authored by Jiayu Chen, Lin Qiu, Moon-Ho Ringo Ho.