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LIWC Results

This project is designed to give you information about both language use and personality assessment. The picture you were asked to describe came from the Thematic Apperception Test, or TAT. The purpose is to see how individuals reveal parts of their own personalities while looking at an ambiguous picture. The words that you used were analyzed using the LIWC (Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count) program developed at the University of Texas and University of Auckland in New Zealand. If you would like to get more information on LIWC, you can download the LIWC manual. LIWC is sold and distributed by Erlbaum Publishers.

Here is a short analysis of your word use:


Generally, the more you write, the better. In this exercise, anything less than about 200 words is not too reliable. Look at the table and compare your numbers with others of your same sex. In all cases, the numbers refer to the percentage of total words you wrote. So, if the table reports a 1.7 for self-references, that means that 1.7% of the words you used were self-references. The more your numbers are different from the averages reported, the more you differ from the average college student who is writing about the same TAT image. In the space below, we briefly describe each of the LIWC categories:

Self-references: People who use a high rate of self-references tend to be more insecure, nervous, and possibly depressed. They also tend to be more honest.

Social words: Social words are words that make reference to other people (e.g., they, she, us, talk, friends). Generally, people who use a high level of social words are more outgoing and more socially connected with others.

Positive emotion words: The more that people use positive emotion words (e.g. happy, love, good), the more optimistic they tend to be. If you feel good about yourself, you are more likely to see the world in a positive way.

Negative emotion words: Use of negative emotion words (e.g., sad, kill, afraid) is weakly linked to people's ratings of anxiety or even neurotic. People who have had a bad day are more likely to see the world through negatively-tinted glasses.

Overall cognitive words: These are words that reflect how much people are actively thinking about their writing topic. Examples include: thinking, wonder, because, knowledge.

Articles: The three article words -- a, an, and the -- account for a huge percentage of the words we use. People who use articles at a high rate tend to be more concrete and impersonal in their thinking.

Big words (words with more than 6 letters): Use of big words is weakly related to higher grades and standardized test scores. People who use a high rate of big words also tend to be less emotional and oftentimes psychologically distant or detached.

The Big Picture: The above interpretations should be considered with a grain of salt for your own writings. Your approach to the assignment may have been influenced by people bothering you, concerns about other things in your life, lack of sleep, etc. In addition, it is important to remember that the TAT is generally administered in a highly controlled situation and is always graded by a real-live human being. You will recall from the book that the TAT was devised to tap people's needs for achievement, power, and affiliation. Look at your own writings and see if you can pick up if you were in high in these motives. For example, if you said that one person was thinking about his/her future career, a TAT expert would probably say that you were higher in a need for achievement than if you said that the person was thinking about his/her lover (which would hint that you were higher in need for affiliation).


Details of Writer: - a year old female
Date/Time: 2 July 2022, 11:20 am

Your TAT description:

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