Happy Words Win

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Headed by the University of Vermont’s Isabel Klouman, a team of researchers did a massive language study that revealed an optimistic tendency of the English language—there are more positive words than negative. Compiling words from years of the New York Times, tweets, popular song lyrics and Google Books, they then analyzed the most common from each source, and finally rated each word’s relative positivity from the 10,122-word list.

So what does this research reveal for humans and our ever-evolving social characteristics? If our language evolved to direct us toward “goal-directed behaviors” and if English is positively skewed, then why is the majority of our emotional-conveying negative? A lot more research is in order to figure this one out!

(via Book Bench)


Sam Riley is the Editorial Assistant at the Rumpus. Also, a humor enthusiast and science supporter. She currently resides in San Francisco, CA. More from this author →