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What our words say about us | 2024 Katz-Newcomb Social Psychology Annual Lecture

James Pennebaker, Ph.D.Professor Emeritus of PsychologyUniversity of Texas at Austin
4448 East HallMap

Jamie Pennebaker, Prof. Emeritus at U Texas, one of the most influential psychologists and one of the early bridges between Social Psychology and AI, author among others of the Expressive Writing strategy (widely used in healthcare), the LIWC lexicon, and The Secret Life of Pronouns, will give this year’s Katz-Newcomb Social Psychology Annual Lecture. This lecture will take place on May 16, and includes two events: a presentation at 12pm in East Hall, and also a conversation with Laurie Santos (host of the Happiness podcast) at 5:30pm in Michigan Union.

More details here. Note that a RSVP is required.

Trained as a social psychologist, his work has been influential across psychology and other social sciences, computer and information sciences, and health and business.

The study of words is the organizing principle of much of my career. Early on, I discovered that if people wrote about emotional experiences their physical and mental health tended to improve. To better understand expressive writing, my students and I developed a text analysis program which revealed some surprising links between word use and psychological states. Over the years, we learned how word use can reflect people’s age, sex, education, personality, and mental health. Word analyses are now providing insights into social and psychological processes of individuals, groups, and entire societies.