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The increasing use of emotional language such as ‘feel’ and ‘believe’ has supplanted rational thinking

A new study suggests we live in the post-truth era where “feelings trump facts,” as language has become less rational and more emotional over the past 40 years.

A team of scientists found that words like “determine” and “conclusion” that were popular from the 1850s to the 1980s have since been replaced by human experiences such as “feeling” and “believing.”

The team also identified another major shift around 2007 with the birth of social media, when the use of emotion-laden language increased and fact-related words declined.

While the drivers behind the shift cannot be determined, the researchers suggest it could be rapid development in science and technology or tensions resulting from changes in economic policy in the early 1980s.

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A team of scientists found that words like

A team of scientists found that words like “determine” and “conclusion” that were popular from the 1850s to the 1980s have since been replaced by human experiences such as “feel” and “believe.”

The research was conducted by scientists from Wageningen University and Research (WUR) and Indiana University who analyzed usage in millions of English and Spanish-language books published between 1850 and 2019 and analyzed the usage of 5,000 commonly used words.

“To see if the results could be specific to the sororities of book language we used, we analyzed how New York Times word usage changed since 1850,” the study published in The New York Times magazine said. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“To investigate whether changes in the frequency of words used in books do indeed reflect interest in the associated concepts, we analyzed how change in Google searches compares to the recent change in words used in books.”

With regard to emotional words, the team identified language related to faith, spirituality, wisdom and intuition, such as “imagining, compassion, forgiveness, healing.”

The team also identified another major shift around 2007 with the birth of social media, when the use of emotion-laden language increased and fact-related words declined.

The team also identified another major shift around 2007 with the birth of social media, when the use of emotion-laden language increased and fact-related words declined.

There was also a shift from a collective language to an individual one, which the team identified by an increase in ‘I’, ‘me’ and ‘you’.

Lead author Marten Scheffer of WUR said in a rack: ‘Deriving the drivers of long-term patterns from 1850 to 1980 necessarily remains speculative.

One possibility when it comes to the trends from 1850 to 1980 is that the rapid developments in science and technology and their socio-economic benefits have led to a rise in the status of the scientific approach, which gradually changes culture, society and its institutions ranging from education to politics.

“As Max Weber argued early on, this may have led to a process of ‘disenchantment’ as the role of spiritualism declined in modernized, bureaucratic and secularized societies.”

The authors also suggest that there could be a link between changes in economic policy since the early 1980s, which, while defended on rational grounds, have not shared the benefits equally.

After the 1980s, another shift took place as Facebook became hugely popular.

The public was exposed to events around the world that made many feel more emotionally involved, so people started using more emotional language.

There was also a shift from a collective language to an individual one, which the team identified by an increase in 'I', 'me' and 'you'.  The study used language from millions of English and Spanish-language books published between 1850 and 2019

There was also a shift from a collective language to an individual one, which the team identified by an increase in ‘I’, ‘me’ and ‘you’. The study used language from millions of English and Spanish-language books published between 1850 and 2019

The study provides examples of such events: for example, social media has catalyzed the Arab Spring by portraying the regime’s atrocities, among other things, jihadist videos motivate terrorists by showing atrocious acts committed by American soldiers, and veganism is promoted through social media campaigns. media highlighting terrible animal welfare issues.”

WUR co-author Ingrid van de Leemput notes: ‘Whatever the drivers, our results suggest that the post-truth phenomenon is related to a historic rocker in the balance between our two fundamental ways of thinking: reasoning versus intuition.

‘If true, it may be impossible to undo the sea change that we have identified. Instead, societies may need to strike a new balance, explicitly recognizing the importance of intuition and emotion, while at the same time making the most of the much-needed power of rationality and science to address subjects in their full complexity.”

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