Sitting on bench using mobile phone

Do your tweets show your political leanings?

A person’s Twitter account can reveal a lot about them. On one level of course it reveals what the person wants the rest of the world to know about them; kind of like when you were ten years old and artlessly told people who you are in an attempt to define yourself. On other levels a Tweet can be much more revealing as has been shown in new study indicating that the language you use in your Tweets reveals your political leanings.

The study involved following Tweets from members of the US Republican and Democratic parties for a period of 15 days. The results showed that you can detect a person’s political leanings just from the words they tend to use.

Liberals have a greater sense of their own uniqueness while conservatives are more likely to focus on group identity.

They found that some liberals are more likely to swear with words like f**k and s**t featuring in their top 10 most used words. This seemed to be a correlation with their tendency to use more emotionally expressive language. They are also more likely to express positive emotions and to use words associated with anxiety and feelings.

Conservative voters on the other hand are more likely to discuss religion with “God” and “psalm” being amongst their most popular words.

Liberals were also more likely to discuss international news while conservatives were more likely to discuss their opponents.

According to the researchers this all fits with previous research showing that liberals have a greater sense of their own uniqueness while conservatives are more likely to focus on group identity. Understanding how these personality types feed into language use not only gives an insight into the political views of people using Twitter but it might also be used by pollsters to refine their understanding of their data.

For you, though, beware of what you Tweet because you might be revealing more than you intend to.

Terry Robson

Terry Robson

Terry Robson is the Editor-in-Chief of WellBeing and the Editor of EatWell.

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