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Correlating Psychopathy With Speech Patterns 270

florescent_beige writes "Researchers from Cornell and UBC report that analysis of speech patterns using Wmatrix, along with something called the Dictionary of Affect in Language (see a demo here), shows that psychopaths speak differently from other people, at least statistically (abstract). Although they say that these differences are 'presumably beyond conscious control,' the authors do not say if the method has any predictive use. Regardless, the popular press has already gone headline-nonlinear about it."
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Correlating Psychopathy With Speech Patterns

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  • PR Stunt (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ObsessiveMathsFreak ( 773371 ) <obsessivemathsfr ... .net minus physi> on Saturday October 15, 2011 @10:41AM (#37723676) Homepage Journal

    "Hungry like the wolf: A word-pattern analysis of the language of psychopaths," Legal and Criminological Psychology

    With an irresponsible paper title like that, the authors were inviting a media circus. We're talking about research into people with mental disorder here, not a new friday night drama series.

  • by epine ( 68316 ) on Saturday October 15, 2011 @10:41AM (#37723678)

    When I was younger, I used "because" and "since" in my writing about twice as often. Never terribly pleased by the effect--that's just how it came out. They are fairly weak transitions, useful mostly if you want a weak transition which detracts less from a central element.

    This excess tapered off as I became more deeply immersed in my subject matter with age and experience. In my own history, these words were sign posts of incomplete thinking.

  • by SgtChaireBourne ( 457691 ) on Saturday October 15, 2011 @11:31AM (#37723970) Homepage

    Hello, speech analysis, I am proud to welcome you to the select club of phrenology, graphology, astrology and numerology.

    and economics.

  • wow! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by superwiz ( 655733 ) on Saturday October 15, 2011 @12:12PM (#37724244) Journal

    psychopaths used more conjunctions such as “because “ or “since,”

    Sounds like another attempt to label left-brain people as psychopaths.

  • by canadian_right ( 410687 ) <> on Saturday October 15, 2011 @01:53PM (#37724850) Homepage

    I'm hoping that things in the DSM are included or not included because having the condition is harmful to your self or others.

    Being clinically depressed does adversely affect your life. Being manic depressive does affect your life. Being a psychopath is often very harmful to the people around the psychopath. I think some kids diagnosed with ADS are just a little more active than some "well behaved" kids and sometimes we are too quick to label them and medicate them.

    Now that religious myth has less sway on many peoples moral values, being homosexual is no longer seen as harmful. I'm assuming you are being sarcastic when you state simply being homosexual is riskier than being heterosexual.

  • Re:PR Stunt (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 15, 2011 @01:57PM (#37724878)

    So you're equating homosexuality and psychopathy?

    Both are deviant behaviors.

  • Re:PR Stunt (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ceoyoyo ( 59147 ) on Saturday October 15, 2011 @03:18PM (#37725442)

    A general criteria for a mental disease is that it has a strong negative effect on your life or someone else's. Psychopathy, at least the kind these guys studied, results in people getting killed.

    The field of mental health has made some mistakes but I don't think calling psychopathy a disease is one of them.

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