William Brady studies how messages spread online–especially on social media sites. By mixing psychology experiments with analyses of millions of messages on social media websites, he’s learned what kinds of language cuts through the clutter. Specifically, he finds that moral emotional language plays a hefty role in online communication. In this episode, Billy talks about this research and his other work on moral outrage to give us an idea of how opinions spread online.
Things we mention in this episode:
- NYU’s Center for Social Media and Politics
- Paul Rozin’s research on “the process of moralization”
- Statistically analyzing patterns of words (check this out for a quick intro)
- Moral emotional language captures attention and prompts retweets (Brady et al., 2017, 2020; also see this Scientific American article)
- Moral outrage online (check out Molly Crockett’s article for The Globe and Mail)