Linguistic measures of personality in group discussions

Lee A. Spitzley, Xinran Wang, Xunyu Chen, Judee K. Burgoon, Norah E. Dunbar, Saiying Ge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This investigation sought to find the relationships among multiple dimensions of personality and multiple features of language style. Unlike previous investigations, after controlling for such other moderators as culture and socio-demographics, the current investigation explored those dimensions of naturalistic spoken language that most closely align with communication. In groups of five to eight players, participants (N = 340) from eight international locales completed hour-long competitive games consisting of a series of ostensible missions. Composite measures of quantity, lexical diversity, sentiment, immediacy and negations were measured with an automated tool called SPLICE and with Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count. We also investigated style dynamics over the course of an interaction. We found predictors of extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism, but overall fewer significant associations than prior studies, suggesting greater heterogeneity in language style in contexts entailing interactivity, conversation rather than solitary message production, oral rather than written discourse, and groups rather than dyads. Extraverts were found to maintain greater linguistic style consistency over the course of an interaction. The discussion addresses the potential for Type I error when studying the relationship between language and personality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number887616
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
StatePublished - Sep 16 2022


  • group communication
  • language
  • linguistic style
  • natural language processing
  • personality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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