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Linguistic characteristics of eating disorder questions on Yahoo! Answers-content, style, and emotion

Oh, JS and He, D and Jeng, W and Mattern, E and Bowler, L (2013) Linguistic characteristics of eating disorder questions on Yahoo! Answers-content, style, and emotion. In: UNSPECIFIED.

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Social QandA provides the possibility of looking into how people verbally express their information needs in natural language. In this study, we analyzed linguistic properties of different types of questions on the topic of eating disorders in Yahoo! Answers. Using term frequency analysis, Partof- Speech (POS) analysis, and sentiment analysis, we examined linguistic content, linguistic style, and emotional expressions in two broad categories of eating disorder questions from Yahoo! Answers-socio-emotional questions and informational questions. Overall, the results of this study show that the language used in these two categories of questions are substantially different, suggesting the different nature of the needs that underlie these questions. Socio-emotional questions take similar characteristics to personal narratives, focusing on past experiences and emotions. The heavy use of negative emotion words in this question type, along with other distinct linguistic characteristics, suggests that a key motivation of users asking this type of question is to work through their emotions related to the given health issue (eating disorders). On the other hand, informational questions show traits of relatively complex, precise, and objective writing, and reflect much varied interests with regard to the topic of eating disorders. All in all, this study demonstrates that the combination of simple text analytic techniques reveals much about the linguistic characteristics associated with different kinds of questions, and thereby shed lights on the nature of the needs underneath the questions.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Oh, JSjsoh@pitt.eduJSOH
He, Ddah44@pitt.eduDAH440000-0002-4645-8696
Jeng, Wwej9@pitt.eduWEJ9
Mattern, EEMM225@pitt.eduEMM2250000-0002-0421-0983
Bowler, Llbowler@pitt.eduLBOWLER
Date: 1 January 2013
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Journal or Publication Title: Proceedings of the ASIST Annual Meeting
Volume: 50
Number: 1
Event Type: Conference
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1002/meet.14505001068
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Information Sciences > Library and Information Science
Refereed: Yes
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2015 14:13
Last Modified: 02 Sep 2019 14:59


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