Friday, January 20, 2006

Breaking news from the New Scientist Magazine

We always suspected this, but now there's proof!

New Scientist Magazine reports today that

According to a new computer algorithm, Prime Minister Paul Martin, of the Liberal Party, spins the subject matter of his speeches dramatically more than Conservative Party leader, Stephen Harper, and the New Democratic Party leader, Jack Layton.

...He and his team analysed the usage patterns of 88 deception-linked words within the text of recent campaign speeches from the political leaders.

I wonder if my pet word *lookit* was included..?

...The computer algorithm is based on a psychological model constructed by James Pennebaker at the University of Texas, Austin, US. While studying the lying and truth-telling of hundreds of test subjects, he uncovered patterns linked to deception, such as the decreased use of personal pronouns - such as I, we, me, us - and exception words, such as "however" and "unless".

The patterns are probably of subconscious origin, he said...

They also said something about how it was natural for the incumbent to have to spin more than the challengers because they have a record to defend (and what a record!) but since that doesn't really fit with my theme I won't emphasize it. In any case, you can go read the whole article here.

Cross posted to the CTV Election Weblog

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