|Nationality United States|
Name James Pennebaker
|Born March 2, 1950 (age 65) (1950-03-02) Midland, Texas|
Occupation Regents Centennial Professor of Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin
Known for Research in Writing Therapy and Language
Education Eckerd College, University of Texas at Austin
Books The Secret Life of Pronouns, Writing to heal, Opening Up: The Healing P, Handbook Of Mental Control, The psychology of physic
Ask a ut psychologist group leader james pennebaker
James W. Pennebaker (born March 2, 1950) is an American social psychologist. He is the Centennial Liberal Arts Professor of Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin and a member of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers. His research focuses on the relationship between natural language use, health, and social behavior, most recently "how everyday language reflects basic social and personality processes".
- Ask a ut psychologist group leader james pennebaker
- Analyzing Everyday Language to Understand Social and Psychological Processes James W Pennebaker
- Education and career
Analyzing Everyday Language to Understand Social and Psychological Processes, James W Pennebaker
Education and career
Pennebaker received his B.A. from Eckerd College in 1972 with honors and his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in 1977.
He has held the following positions:
Over the course of his career, Pennebaker has studied the nature of physical symptoms, health consequences of secrets, expressive writing, and natural language, and has received grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Army Research Institute, and other federal agencies for studies in language, emotion, and social dynamics.
A pioneer of writing therapy, he has researched the link between language and recovering from trauma and been "recognized by the American Psychological Association as one of the top researchers on trauma, disclosure, and health." In particular, he finds a person's use of "low-level words", such as pronouns and articles, predictive of recovery as well as indicative of sex, age, and personality traits: "Virtually no one in psychology has realized that low-level words can give clues to large-scale behaviors."
In the mid-1990s, he and colleagues developed the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC; pronounced "Luke"), a computerized text analysis program that outputs the percentage of words in a given text that fall into one or more of over 80 linguistic (e.g., first-person singular pronouns, conjunctions), psychological (e.g., anger, achievement), and topical (e.g., leisure, money) categories. It builds on previous research establishing strong links between linguistic patterns and personality or psychological state, but makes possible far more detailed results than did hand counts. Pennebaker and associates have used this tool to analyze the language of Al Qaeda leaders and of political candidates, particularly in the 2008 United States presidential election. He blogs with associates on what linguistic analysis says about political leaders, at Wordwatchers: Tracking the language of public figures, and Pennebaker Conglomerates, Inc. offers free LIWC-based text analysis tools online, including a language style matching calculator and a language-based application of the Thematic Apperception Test.
In January of 2017, Pennebaker was one of the speakers in the Linguistic Society of America's inaugural Public Lectures on Language series.