The Language of War: A Conceptual Replication and Extension of Abe (2012) and Matsumoto and Hwang (2013)




language, war, congress, pronouns, verbs


Legislative bodies have very important roles and understanding the psychology of their decision-making processes is a useful area of study. We add to this area by replicating two previous studies: Abe (2012) and Matsumoto and Hwang (2013) in the context of a legislative body. The present study hypothesized that legislators who support war measures would be externally focused and less cognitively complex in their speeches, while opponents of war measures would be internally focused. Speeches were obtained pertaining to the decisions for the U.S. to take military action in Kosovo, Iraq, and Libya. While we found mixed results depending on the circumstances of a specific conflict, we demonstrate how automated language analysis can be combined with voting records to better understand behavioral action, such as legislative decision.


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Author Biography

Erin M Buchanan, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology

Dr. Erin M. Buchanan research focuses on modeling semantic memory and how it might understand the underlying language network by creating better measures of relationships between concepts. She also examines statistical practices and how it might improve those practices through enhanced methodology and teaching. Last, she collaborates with other investigators to improve their statistics and develop psychometrically sound measures of their concepts.



2022-04-11 — Updated on 2023-03-08




Replication Reports