How do the words we use reflect our personalities, psychological states, and social relationships? Psychologists have applied simple word counting and word patterning methods such as Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) and the Meaning Extraction Method (MEM) across a variety of contexts to understand individual differences in communication. Word use and interaction patterns in everyday conversations and social media exchanges can reveal personality, engagement, and deception. Quantitative text analysis from a psychological perspective can help to uncover how people connect, communicate, and interact in digital spaces.
Many forensic sciences have been under attack for their failure to be grounded in adequate research. Even fingerprint evidence is questioned, not for its being generally unreliable, but because there is inadequate research into the extent that accuracy decreases as the quantity and quality of information are each systematically degraded. At the same time, psychological research has revealed biases to which experts are subject, especially confirmation bias ? the propensity to value evidence that confirms one?s hypothesis more than evidence that disconfirms it. Somewhat at odds with these observations are interesting debates about the relative accuracy of expert judgment by individuals based on their experience on the one hand, and algorithmic expertise on the other. This presentation will discuss how legal systems react to offers of linguistic expert evidence in light of these developments.