Linguistic correlates of psychopathology in autobiographical narrative
Stemming from the interdisciplinary questions, "what is the self?" and "what occurs in the absence of the self' this study sheds light on key areas of interest to both clinical psychologists and cognitive scientists. Following a review of self-literature across several disciplines, it is concluded that the fracturing or absence of the self may relate to certain psychopathologies. The present study used oral autobiographical narrative and a self-report inventory of psychopathology to explore this relationship in 43 college students. By examining these questions from a bottom-up perspective, this study expands upon existing literature regarding quantitative linguistic analysis of narrative in addition to providing key empirical data for the interdisciplinary study of psychopathology. Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count software and the Brief Symptom Inventory were used to categorize word use in autobiographical narratives and recent psychological distress. Linear regression with forward modeling was used to explore linguistic factors from the narratives that related to specific types of psychopathology. Results suggested that increased use of positive feeling words (e.g., happy, joy, love) in autobiographical narratives predicted an increased overall severity of distress, with other emotional, cognitive, and pronoun-based word usage predicting specific forms of psychopathology.
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Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences;Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Allen, Micah G., "Linguistic correlates of psychopathology in autobiographical narrative" (2008). HIM 1990-2015. 711.