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Examining the phenomenon of quarter-life crisis through artificial intelligence and the language of Twitter

Examining the phenomenon of quarter-life crisis through artificial intelligence and the language of Twitter

Agarwal, Shantenu, Guntuku, Sharath Chandra, Robinson, Oliver C., Dunn, Abigail and Ungar, Lyle H. (2020) Examining the phenomenon of quarter-life crisis through artificial intelligence and the language of Twitter. Frontiers in Psychology, 11:341. ISSN 1664-1078 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00341)

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Abstract

Quarter-life crisis (QLC) is a popular term for developmental crisis episodes that occur during early adulthood (18–30). Our aim was to explore what linguistic themes are associated with this phenomenon as discussed on social media. We analyzed 1.5 million tweets written by over 1,400 users from the United Kingdom and United States that referred to QLC, comparing their posts to those used by a control set of users who were matched by age, gender and period of activity. Logistic regression was used to uncover significant associations between words, topics, and sentiments of users and QLC, controlling for demographics. Users who refer to a QLC were found to post more about feeling mixed emotions, feeling stuck, wanting change, career, illness, school, and family. Their language tended to be focused on the future. Of 20 terms selected according to early adult crisis theory, 16 were mentioned by the QLC group more than the control group. The insights from this study could be used by clinicians and coaches to better understand the developmental challenges faced by young adults and how these are portrayed naturalistically in the language of social media.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: quarter-life crisis, machine learning, natural language processing, social media, emerging adulthood
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Department of Psychology, Social Work & Counselling
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Institute for Lifecourse Development
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Institute for Lifecourse Development > Centre for Mental Health
Last Modified: 30 Apr 2020 09:04
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: REF 3
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/27361

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