How Self-Reflection Influences Use of Cognitive and Analytical Language

Sheila Brownlow*, Emily L. Fogleman and Sophie Hirsch

How Self-Reflection Influences Use of Cognitive and Analytical Language.
In sum, language content and expression reflects cognitive processes in systematic ways. Our question focused on whether systematic differences in analytic and cognitive language is a reflection of temporary emotional states. Our purpose was to examine language complexity and cognition in both content and transmission as a function of affective priming, positing that negative affect would increase rumination as seen in analytic language.

Language that includes causation  as well as personal insight  typically demonstrates a type of cognitive complexity that reflects reasoning and facts, and which relays events in a straightforward way. Negative prompts increased discrepancy, which may reflect counterfactual (“what if?”) thinking. This finding is not surprising given that “should” and “would” are likely good linguistic devices to explain or deconstruct negative events. Justification or post-hoc explanation about what has happened, or perhaps what should be happening or have happened, marked writing about negative behavior.

A different way employs the linguistic inquiry and word count, a computer program that distributes both the content of speech, as well as the manner of expression, into predetermined
categories. These categories are the result of hundreds of studies that have included more than 80,000 writers or speakers who have produced over 200 million words in a wide variety of contexts.

The diverse samples include speeches and social media posts, novels and plays, essays and articles, and personal narratives written both spontaneously and under specific directions. Moreover, this sort of language likely did not include fillers because the narrative was fairly well-known.

Psychol Cogn Sci Open J. 2020; 6(1): 11-14. doi: 10.17140/PCSOJ-6-154