Words of Well-Being : The Relation of an Individual's Word Choice to their Social Well-Being Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/cf95jg90q

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  • The present research sought to investigate the relationship between an individual's word choice and their social well-being. In the present investigation, social well-being is a person's social health in relation to their social environment, social network, and ability to interact with others in a social context. This thesis was based on previous research conducted from 2006-2010 (Brown, 2011), where participants ranging in ages from 18 to 54 took part in a ten week long "Psychological Assessment" research practicum. During this time period, participants were administered a battery of measures including those related to social well-being. These were the Rosenberg's Self-Esteem Scale (Rosenberg, 1965), The Satisfaction with Life Scale (Diener, Emmons, Larsen, & Griffin, 1985), the Stress Assessment Profile (Nowack, 1990), and the NEO-Personality Inventory-Revised (Costa & McCrae, 1980). The participants in this project also wrote an essay in response to the prompt, "Explain or describe events and experiences in your life that make you feel you are socially skilled or not." Using the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count software program (Tauszcik & Pennebaker, 2010), word counts and word group usage was assessed within these essays. This LIWC analysis was then correlated both with measures of social well-being and with a measure of personality. Results indicated that higher social well-being was related to fewer self-references, fewer negative emotions words, and fewer anxiety words. Implications of these linguistic findings in relation to social well-being and personality traits are discussed.
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