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AnaylzeWords: Decipher a Twitter user’s personality

A new tool invented by a UT professor can help you decipher the demeanor of a user’s tweets giving you deeper insight into their moods.

royalty free twitter cover photos

royalty free twitter cover photos

Is your potential client a half glass full or half glass empty type?

People use Twitter for all kinds of things – to express emotion, to talk about what’s new in their lives, to promote events, to market for their brand, and more. One psychologist thinks that Twitter can also reveal much about the personalities of its users.

James W. Pennbaker, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, has developed a tool that analyzes Twitter activity to predict the tweeter’s emotional, social, and thinking styles. Analyze Words relies on scientific research connecting word use to personality. New data for this kind of research is easy to come by these days, what with millions of users regularly contributing linguistic content over the internet.

Surprisingly, AnalyzeWords focuses less on nouns and verbs, drawing most of its conclusions from the “junk words” that grammatically connect subjects and objects. Junk words include pronouns (I, you, they), articles (a, an, the) and prepositions (with, upon, through).

Find out someone’s leadership qualities

For example, Analyze Words can predict much about personality based on how often the pronoun “I” is used. Using “I” statements indicates introspection, but overuse predicts insecurity, stress, and depression. Other junk word usage patterns can indicate leadership qualities, arrogance, how one interacts socially, and other psychological states. The Daily Mail used Analyze Words to discover that President Obama is upbeat, distant and analytical, while pop diva Katy Perry is depressed and sensory- driven.

To use, simply visit and type in any Twitter handle. The site rates the Twitter user’s emotional, social, and thinking style, displaying three or four of the top scoring attributes within each category. For example, someone might have an angry, upbeat, or worried emotional state. They may have a more “plugged in” social style, might be either personable or distant, or might be called “Spacey/Valley Girl.” Some thinking styles include analytic, sensory, or “in-the-moment.”

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Bonus idea: While you’re at it, visit and type in your company’s Twitter handle. You might learn something about your brand’s personality.


Ellen Vessels, a Staff Writer at The American Genius, is respected for their wide range of work, with a focus on generational marketing and business trends. Ellen is also a performance artist when not writing, and has a passion for sustainability, social justice, and the arts.

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