Navigation Links
Psychopathic killers: Computerized text analysis uncovers the word patterns of a predator
Date:10/14/2011

ITHACA, N.Y. As words can be the soul's window, scientists are learning to peer through it: Computerized text analysis shows that psychopathic killers make identifiable word choices beyond conscious control when talking about their crimes.

This research could lead to new tools for diagnosis and treatment, and have implications law enforcement and social media.

The words of psychopathic murderers match their personalities, which reflect selfishness, detachment from their crimes and emotional flatness, says Jeff Hancock, Cornell professor of computing and information science, and colleagues at the University of British Columbia in the journal Legal and Criminological Psychology.

Hancock and his colleagues analyzed stories told by 14 psychopathic male murderers held in Canadian prisons and compared them with 38 convicted murderers who were not diagnosed as psychopathic. Each subject was asked to describe his crime in detail. Their stories were taped, transcribed and subjected to computer analysis.

Psychopaths used more conjunctions like "because," "since" or "so that," implying that the crime "had to be done" to obtain a particular goal. They used twice as many words relating to physical needs, such as food, sex or money, while non-psychopaths used more words about social needs, including family, religion and spirituality. Unveiling their predatory nature in their own description, the psychopaths often included details of what they had to eat on the day of their crime.

Past as prologue: Psychopaths were more likely to use the past tense, suggesting a detachment from their crimes, say the researchers. They tended to be less fluent in their speech, using more "ums" and "uhs." The exact reason for this is not clear, but the researchers speculate that the psychopath is trying harder to make a positive impression, needing to use more mental effort to frame the story.

"Previous work has looked at how psychopaths use language," Hancock said. "Our paper is the first to show that you can use automated tools to detect the distinct speech patterns of psychopaths." This can be valuable to clinical psychologists, he said, because the approach to treatment of psychopaths can be very different.


'/>"/>

Contact: Blaine Friedlander
bpf2@cornell.edu
607-254-8093
Cornell University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. An underlying cause for psychopathic behavior?
2. Many Consumers Dont Know Whats in Over-the-Counter Painkillers: Study
3. Kaiser Analysis Finds Record Medicaid Enrollment Growth in 2009
4. New approach to immune cell analysis seen as first step to better distinguish health and disease
5. National Center for Policy Analysis and Salem Radio Network Deliver One Million Emails to Congress to Stop ObamaCare
6. Pregnancy for breast cancer survivors: Meta-analysis reveals it is safe and could improve survival
7. Improved device provides more rapid, comprehensive analysis of circulating tumor cells
8. Know What Works with Semantic Design's Test Coverage Analysis Tool for C#/.Net
9. Social Media Network Analysis Workshop
10. University of Miami College of Engineering to develop new methods for data analysis
11. Biosensor chip enables high-sensitivity protein analysis for disease diagnosis
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... 02, 2016 , ... Dr. Raffi Hovsepian, a leading plastic, ... 2016 “Guide to America’s Top Plastic Surgeons” for seven consecutive years. The prestigious ... experience, and professional associations. , One the most frequently honored surgeons in ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... 02, 2016 , ... Mediaplanet is proud to announce the ... the innovative treatments, therapeutic technologies, and revolutionized nutrition that are helping patients and ... 6 years in the last 3 decades,” says Dr. Valentine Fuster, a world-renowned ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... The PAINWeekEnd Regional Conference will ... Spa in Honolulu, offering local frontline clinicians the opportunity to extend their certified ... demand for supplemental training related to pain management has surged dramatically in recent ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... 02, 2016 , ... Sourced from the Isbre Springs beneath the 5,000 year ... natural purity of just 6 ppm TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) in addition to its ... available in several ShopRite and FoodTown stores in NJ and received rave comments from ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, at The House of Yahweh in Abilene, Texas, has ... Prophecy. Yisrayl says this generation, known as the Last Generation, started in 1934 A.Y. ... line up exactly with Bible Prophecy – a protected way for those who will ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/4/2016)... 2016   Pairnomix, LLC, a genetic research company ... by the White House, today announced that findings from its ... of candidate therapies for a patient with epileptic encephalopathy caused ... presented at the 70 th Annual Meeting of the ... , December 2-6, 2016.  Pairnomix, unique process ...
(Date:12/4/2016)... , Dec. 3, 2016  Results from the Phase ... an anti-P-selectin antibody, reduced the median annual rate of ... placebo (1.63 vs 2.98, p=0.010) in patients with or ... the data are being featured in the official press ... Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting and presented during the Plenary ...
(Date:12/4/2016)... 3, 2016  Findings from a Novartis clinical ... an investigational chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR ... adult patients with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) ... at the 58th American Society of Hematology (ASH) ... The global Phase II study found that 82% ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: