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Y.. Personal 8::,;’,.::::;f Time Orientation vv ,s;IMPN-0: , Emotional Tone eOpePWWW,Pre”””” v 4.:WW:CV ” .N.K Past ten Examples Clinton Obama McCain m*. 45.e.:UMSM.WASe. 0.49 TEXAS OBSERVER POLL less abstract. Clinton voters tended to be the most concrete in their thinking, and Obama supporters the most abstract. Time orientation. The verbs we use signal whether we’re thinking about the past, present, or future. It is also possible to respond to polling questions without using verbs in such a way as to make time irrelevant. It means different things to say “The Iraq War was a mistake,” “Iraq is a mistake,” or just “The Iraq War.” Supporters of both Clinton and Obama referred to past events more than McCain supporters. Interestingly, Clinton voters used present-tense verbs at far higher rates than othersClinton supporters tended to talk in the here-and-now. Emotional tone. To what degree did people use words that bad, mess, the McCain camp serious concerns. In terms of positive emotion-word use, Obama and Clinton supporters were similar in their optimism, energy, and good cheer. Common responses to questions about the nature of the primary among these supporters included statements like, “It’s been interesting” or “exciting:’ McCain respondents were generally not very positive or upbeat. In fact, they were downright negative, often saying things like “nasty” or “It stinks:’ A closer analysis of the words used by McCain supporters betrayed more feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and open hostility than Clinton and Obama supporters held. Inhibited or constrained. People often give signals in their language about what they are trying not to do or not to think about. People who are inhibiting themselves tend to use negation words such as “no, not, never” at high rates. Other markers of inhibition include words such as “stop,” “control,” “block:’ or “restrain:’ There is an interesting psychological difference between saying, “Stop building the border wall:’ and saying, “Open the border:’ Language analysis indicates that McCain supporters were quite high in their use of negations and other markers of inhibition or constraint. Their orientation, then, tended toward avoidance of bad things, as opposed to the pursuit of good things. James W. Pennebaker is chair of the department of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. For more information, see www. Frequency of Key Words Used by Supporters of the Following Candidates Inhibition Total Respondents 697 774 579 *Numbers reflect percentage of all words used by respondents. For example ; 20.1% of all the words used by MAY 30, 2008 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 29