Advertisement

Quality & Quantity

, Volume 53, Issue 3, pp 1239–1261 | Cite as

Fear in the West: a sentiment analysis using a computer-readable “Fear Index”

  • Robert HogenraadEmail author
Article
  • 109 Downloads

Abstract

We tune in on fear to make it visible and detect its drifts. We collect verbal signals of coming fear burrowed in the crackles of political and other speeches by leading figures: Familiar words people use to express fear. From the EmoLex database (Mohammad and Turney in Comput Intel 29(3):436–465, 2013), we develop a computer-readable “Fear Index” to chase fear in the West. We aim a view from above to see how fear has changed, or hasn’t. We first look how valid is the “Fear Index” on texts (fearful novels and historical documents) expected to display specific profiles of fear. Then trace the trend fear follows in speeches of European leaders. The “Fear Index” decreases in the speeches and documents of European political and economic spheres (President Donald Tusk—European Council—, President Mario Draghi—European Central Bank—, and the Global Trade Alert agency). The “Fear Index” spirals upwards among humanitarian leaders (Pope Francis, the Archbishop Justin Welby, and the International Committee of the Red Cross). We record no significant change in the trend of the “Fear Index” in the speeches of President Vladimir Putin. Humanitarian and political leaders changing in counterpoint prompt questions about empathy, or lack of that, in a now bipolar West.

Keywords

Sentiment analysis Fear index Computer-readable dictionaries Western history of now Computer-aided content analysis 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study did not depend on any private or public Grant. We report no conflict of interest relevant to this research. Thanks to Yves Bestgen (Department of Psychology, Université catholique de Louvain) from his opportune comments on the manuscript. Special mention to Dr. Saif M. Mohammad and Dr. Peter D. Turney (Ottawa, National Research Council Canada) for the fortunate EmoLex database available for noncommercial use. Normand Péladeau (Provalis Research, Montreal, CA; https://provalisresearch.com/) related and suggested EmoLex and is associated to the present Fear Index project. Also to mention are generous exchanges with Dean McKenzie (Epworth HealthCare, Monash U., Melbourne). Two reviewers commented usefully on the first version of this paper. These persons and organizations did not play any part in funding, planning or designing this study.

References

  1. Aeschylus (1977): The Oresteia (Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, The Eumenides) (R. Fagles, Trans.). Penguin Books, London (1977). (Original work written before 458 BCE)Google Scholar
  2. Akerlof, G.A., Shiller, R.J.: Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ (2009)Google Scholar
  3. Aron, R.: Memoirs: Fifty Years of Political Reflection. Holmes & Meier Publishers, New York (2008)Google Scholar
  4. Bargh, J.: Before You Know It: The Unconscious Reasons We Do What We Do. William Heinemann, London (2017)Google Scholar
  5. Baron-Cohen, S.: Zero Degrees of Empathy: A New Theory of Human Cruelty. Penguin Books, London (2012)Google Scholar
  6. Bernard, J.R.L.: The Macquarie Thesaurus: The National Thesaurus. Macquarie Library, Sydney (2000)Google Scholar
  7. Boyd, R.L., Pennebaker, J.W.: Language-based personality: a new approach to personality in a digital world. Curr. Opin. Behav. Sci. 18, 63–68 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brants, T., Franz, A.: Web 1T 5-gramVersion 1 LDC2006T13. Linguistic Data Consortium, Philadelphia (2006). https://catalog.ldc.upenn.edu/ldc2006t13. Accessed 11 January 2018
  9. Braudel, F.: The Mediterranean: And the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II (Volume II) (Siân Reynolds, Trans.). University of California Press, Berkeley (1996). (Original works published 1949 and again 1966 under the title of “La Méditerranée et le Monde Méditerranéen à l’Epoque de Philippe II”. Librairie Armand Colin, Paris (1966)Google Scholar
  10. Breivik, A.B.: Anders Behring Breivik Comments at Document.No. (2009). The Breivik Archives, https://sites.google.com/site/breivikreport/documents. Accessed 21 February 2018
  11. Burke, K.: A Grammar of Motives. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA. (1969). (Original work published 1945)Google Scholar
  12. Burleigh, M.: The Best Times, the Worst Times: A History of Now. Macmillan, London (2017)Google Scholar
  13. Byrd, R.E.: Alone. Palmer Press London (2015). (Original work published 1938)Google Scholar
  14. Cambria, E., Das, D., Bandyopadhyay, S., Feraco, A. (eds).: A Practical Guide to Sentiment Analysis. Springer, Berlin (2017)Google Scholar
  15. Campbell, J.: Styron’s voice. In: The Times Literary Supplement, January 15 2010, p. 3. Times Literary Supplement Historical Archive [Web]. https://www.the-tls.co.uk/articles/private/styrons-voice/. Accessed 13 November 2017
  16. Chung, C.K., Pennebaker, J.W.: Using computerized text analysis to assess threatening communications and behavior. In: Chauvin, C. (ed.) Threatening Communications and Behavior: Perspectives on the Pursuit of Public Figures, pp. 3–32. The National Academies Press, Washington D.C. (2011)Google Scholar
  17. Cohen, J.: The earth is round (p < .05). Am. Psychol. 49(12), 997–1003 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Davies, H.: Things hidden. In: The Times Literary Supplement, 9 October 2017. https://www.the-tls.co.uk/articles/public/things-hidden/. Accessed 13 November 2017
  19. Delumeau, J.: La Peur en Occident (XIVe—XVIIIe Siècles). Une Cité Assiégée [Fear in Occident (XIV–XVIII Centuries. City under Siege]. Fayard, Paris (1978)Google Scholar
  20. Delumeau, J.: Sin and Fear: The Emergence of the Western Guilt Culture, 13th–18th Centuries. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke (1990). (Original work published under the title “Le Péché et la Peur: La Culpabilisation en Occident XIIIe-XVIIIe Siècles”. Fayard, Paris [1983])Google Scholar
  21. de Montbrial, T.: Vivre le Temps des Troubles. Albin Michel, Paris (2017)Google Scholar
  22. de Montbrial, T.: Living In Troubled Times. A New Political Era. World Scientific Publishing, Singapore (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Diaconis, P., Efron, B.: Computer-intensive methods in statistics. Scientific Am. 248(5), 96–108 (1983)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Fenstermacher, L., Kuznar, L.A.: Deciphering the emic perspective in data in order to assess threat. In: Cohn, J.V., Schatz, S., Freeman, H., Combs, D.J.Y. (eds.) Modeling Sociocultural Influences on Decision Making: Understanding Conflict, Enabling Stability, pp. 181–204. Taylor & Francis, Boca Raton, FL (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Field, A., Miles, J., Field, Z.: Discovering Statistics Using R. Sage, London (2012)Google Scholar
  26. Frazier, K.E.: The Peter Pan Paradox: A Discussion of the Light and Dark in J.M. Barrie’s Shadow Child. Undergraduate English Honors Thesis, University of Tennessee Honors Thesis Projects, Knoxville (2014). http://trace.tennessee.edu/utk_chanhonoproj/1706. http://perma.cc/2UWR-HKHC. Accessed 27 January 2018
  27. Freedom House: Freedom in the World 2016: Anxious Dictators, Wavering Democracies: Global Freedom under Pressure. Freedom House, Washington, DC (2017). https://freedomhouse.org/sites/default/files/FH_FITW_Report_2016.pdf. Accessed 29 May 2018
  28. Friedman, G.: The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century. Doubleday, New York (2009)Google Scholar
  29. Friedman, T.L.: Web people vs. wall people. The New York Times, p. A27 (July 27 2016) https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/27/opinion/web-people-vs-wall-people.html?_r=0, archived at http://perma.cc/U8Q2-MVRM. Accessed 11 November 2016
  30. Ghosh, P.: Max Weber and ‘The Protestant Ethic’: Twin Histories. Oxford University Press, London (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Glasse, H.: First catch your hare: the art of cookery made plain and easy. Prospect Books, London (2012). (Original work published 1747). http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/8860880/Getting-back-to-Mrs-Beeton-with-a-recipe-for-jugged-hare.html, archived at https://perma.cc/63KZ-E539. Accessed 11 October 2017
  32. Goethe, J.W.: Gedichte: Ausgabe Letzter Hand 1827 [Poems: Last Supervised Edition 1827]. Hofenberg, Berlin (2016)Google Scholar
  33. Goodman, N.: Ways of Worldmaking. Hackett Publishing Company, Indianapolis (1978)Google Scholar
  34. Golding, W.: Lord of the Flies. Faber and Faber, London (1954)Google Scholar
  35. Harris, R.: The Fear Index. Hutchinson, London (2011)Google Scholar
  36. Hartleb, F.: A Thorn in the Side of European Elites: The New Euroscepticism. Centre for European Studies, Brussels (2015). http://martenscentre.eu/sites/default/files/publication-files/thorn-side-european-elites-new-euroscepticism.pdf. Accessed 26 May 2018
  37. Haselmayer, M., Jenny, M.: Sentiment analysis of political communication: combining a dictionary approach with crowdcoding. Qual. Quant. 51(6), 2623–2646 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Herzog, R.: Germany’s future: Moving into the 21st century. In R. Herzog, Lessons from the past, visions for the future. German Issues, 18, 85–98. The Johns Hopkins University, American Institute for Contemporary German Studies, Washington, DC (1997). https://www.aicgs.org/site/wp-content/uploads/1998/06/Roman-Herzog-Speeches-German-Issues-18.pdf. Accessed 24 May 2018
  39. Hogenraad, R.: The words that predict the outbreak of wars. Empir. Stud. Arts 21(1), 5–20 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Hogenraad, R.: What the words of war can tell us about the risk of war. Peace Confl. J. Peace Psychol. 11(2), 137–151 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Hogenraad, R.: The fetish of archives. Qual. Quant. 48(1), 425–437 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Hogenraad, R.: Deaf sentences over Ukraine: mysticism versus ethics. Digit. Scholarsh. Humanit. 31(4), 725–745 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Hogenraad, R., Grosbois, T.: A history of threat in Europe and Belgium (1920–1993). Soc. Indic. Res. 42, 221–244 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Hogenraad, R., Garagozov, R.R.: Words of swords in the Caucasus: about a leading indicator of conflicts. Peace Confl. J. Peace Psychol. 16(1), 11–28 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Hogenraad, R., Daubies, C., Bestgen, Y., Mahau, P.: Une théorie et une méthode générale d’analyse textuelle assistée par ordinateur: Le système PROTAN (PROTocol ANalyzer). [A general theory and method of computeraided text analysis: The PROTAN system (PROTocol ANalyzer)]. [Computer software]. Psychology Department, Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve (2003a). https://archive.org/details/PROTANUsersManual, https://archive.org/details/presentation_201711
  46. Hogenraad, R., McKenzie, D.P., Péladeau, N.: Force and influence in content analysis: the production of new social knowledge. Qual. Quant. 37(3), 221–238 (2003b)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Hölderlin, F.: Selected Poems and Fragments (M. Hamburger, Trans.). Penguin Books, London (1998)Google Scholar
  48. Hutton, R.: The Witch: A History of Fear, From Ancient Times to the Present. Yale University Press, New Haven (2017)Google Scholar
  49. James, W.: The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature (M. E. Marty Ed.). Penguin Classics, London (1985). (Original work published 1902)Google Scholar
  50. Jameson, F.: The Political Unconscious: Narrative as a Socially Symbolic Act. Routledge, New York (2002)Google Scholar
  51. Kershaw, I.: Roller-Coaster: Europe, 1950–2017. Penguin Books, London (2018)Google Scholar
  52. Kohler, T.A., Smith, M.E.: Ten Thousand Years of Inequality: The Archaeology of Wealth Differences. University of Arizona Press, Tucson (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Koptsik, A.V.: Dissymmetry create phenomenon. In: Ogawa, T., Miura, K., Masunari, T., Nagy, D. (eds.), Katachi “U” Symmetry, pp. 363–371. Springer, Tokyo (1996)Google Scholar
  54. Lawrence, D.H.: Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Penguin Books, New York (1946). (Original work published 1928)Google Scholar
  55. Loch, W.: Some comments on the subject of psychoanalysis and truth. In: Smith, J.H. (ed.) Thought, Consciousness and Reality, pp. 217–255. Yale University Press, New Haven (1977)Google Scholar
  56. Loughran, T., McDonald, B.: When is a liability not a liability? textual analysis, dictionaries and 10-Ks. J. Finance, 66(1), 35–66 (2011). https://provalisresearch.com/products/content-analysis-software/wordstat-dictionary/sentiment-dictionaries/?utm_source=Provalis+Research+Newsletter&utm_campaign=8234aa12f9-. Accessed 26 May 2018
  57. Macmillan, M.: The new year and the new populism. [Web]. Project Syndicate, 1 January 2017. http://www.thedailystar.net/supplements/unforgettable-2016/the-new-year-and-the-new-populism-1338304. Accessed 4 January, 2017
  58. Martindale, C.: A quantitative analysis of diachronic patterns in some narratives of Poe. Semiotica. 22(3–4), 287–308 (1978)Google Scholar
  59. Martindale, C. (ed.): Psychological Approaches to the Study of Literary Narratives. Helmut Buske Verlag, Hamburg (1988)Google Scholar
  60. May, E.R., Zelikow, P.D. (eds.): The Kennedy Tapes: Inside the White House During the Cuban Missile Crisis. The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge (1997)Google Scholar
  61. McCann, S.J.H., Stewin, L.L.: Good and bad years: an index of American social, economic, and political threat (1920–1986). J. Psych. 124, 601–617 (1990)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. McCann, S.J.H.: The extended American social, economic, and political threat index (1788–1992). J. Psych. 132, 435–449 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. McClelland, D.C.: Power: The Inner Experience. Irvington Publishers, New York (1975)Google Scholar
  64. McClelland, D.C.: The avoidance motives. In: McClelland, D.C. (ed.) Human Motivation, pp. 373–412. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (1987)Google Scholar
  65. Milanovic, B.: Global Inequality: A New Approach for the Age of Globalization. Harvard University Press, Cambridge (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Mohammad, S.M.: Challenges in sentiment analysis. In: Cambria, E., Das, D., Bandyopadhyay, S., Feraco A. (eds.) A Practical Guide to Sentiment Analysis, pp. 61–83). Springer, Berlin (2017). http://saifmohammad.com/WebPages/NRC-Emotion-Lexicon.htm. Accessed 10 January 2018
  67. Mohammad, S.M., Turney, P.: Emotions evoked by common words and phrases: Using Mechanical Turk to create an emotion lexicon. Paper presented at the NAACL-HLT 2010 Workshop on Computational Approaches to Analysis and Generation of Emotion in Text, LA, CA (June 2010). http://saifmohammad.com/WebPages/NRC-Emotion-Lexicon.htm. Accessed 11 January 2018
  68. Mohammad, S.M., Turney, P.: Crowdsourcing a word-emotion association lexicon. Comput. Intel. 29(3), 436–465 (2013). https://arxiv.org/pdf/1308.6297.pdf. Accessed 11 January 2018
  69. Moïsi, D.: The Geopolitics of Emotion: How Cultures of Fear, Humiliation, and Hope are Reshaping the World. Anchor Books, New York (2010)Google Scholar
  70. Müller, J.-W.: What is Populism?. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Nance, K.: Living in dangerous times. Chicago Tribune, pp. 1-3. (12 October 2012). http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/books/ct-prj-1014-don-delillo-20121012-story.html. https://perma.cc/VD24-ZRC7. Accessed 18 November 2017
  72. Orwell, G.: Nineteen Eighty-Four. Penguin, London (1990). (Original work published 1949). http://www.planetebook.com/ebooks/1984.pdf. Accessed 21 January 2018
  73. Pasture, P.: The EC/EU between the art of forgetting and the palimpsest of empire. Eur. Rev. 26(3), 545–581 (2018).  https://doi.org/10.1017/S1062798718000224 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Pavord, A.: The Tulip: The Story of the Flower That Has Made Men Mad. Bloomsbury, London (1999)Google Scholar
  75. Péladeau, N.: Simstat for Windows. User’s Guide (Version 1.21d, November 1997) [Computer program]. Provalis Research, Montreal (1996). https://provalisresearch.com/products/simstat/
  76. Péladeau, N.: Sentiment Analysis with WordStat. Provalis Research (19 April 2018). https://provalisresearch.com/news-events/sentiment-analysis-dictionary/. Accessed 26 May 2018
  77. Plutchik, R.: The Psychology and Biology of Emotion. Longman, London (1994)Google Scholar
  78. Poirier, R.: Trying It Out in America: Literary and Other Performances. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York (1999)Google Scholar
  79. Popper, K.R.: Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge. Harper & Row, New York (1963)Google Scholar
  80. Rajan, R.G.: Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy. Princeton University Press, Princeton (2010)Google Scholar
  81. Sampson, F.: In Search of Mary Shelley: The Girl Who Wrote Frankenstein. Profile Books, London (2018)Google Scholar
  82. Shakespeare, W.: The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (1599–1602). http://shakespeare.mit.edu/hamlet/full.html. Accessed 17 January 2018
  83. Shakespeare, W.: Macbeth (1623). https://www.nosweatshakespeare.com/shakespeares-plays/modern-macbeth/. Accessed 22 March 2018
  84. Shalizi, C.: The bootstrap. Am. Sci. 98(3), 186–190 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Shapin, S.: The Scientific Revolution. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Shelley, M.: Frankenstein: The 1818 Text. Penguin Books, New York (2018). (Original work published 1818). https://www.gutenberg.org/files/84/84-h/84-h.htm. Accessed 16 March 2018
  87. Shklar, J.N.: The liberalism of fear. In: Rosenblum, N.L. (ed.) Liberalism and the Moral Life, pp. 21–39. Harvard University Press, Cambridge (1989)Google Scholar
  88. Shubnikov, A. V., Koptsik, V. A.: Symmetry in Science and Art (G. D. Archard, Trans.). Plenum Press, New York (1974)Google Scholar
  89. Siegel, E.: Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die. Wiley, New York (2016)Google Scholar
  90. Spence, D.P.: Narrative Truth and Historical Truth. Meaning and Interpretation in Psychoanalysis. W. W. Norton, New York (1982)Google Scholar
  91. Stern, J.P.: The Heart of Europe: Essays on Literature and Ideology. Blackwell, Oxford (1992)Google Scholar
  92. Stiglitz, J.E.: The Great Divide: Unequal Societies and What We Can Do About Them. W. W. Norton & Company, New York (2016)Google Scholar
  93. Stone, P.J., Dunphy, D.C., Smith, M.S., Ogilvie, D.M.: The General Inquirer: A Computer Approach to Content Analysis. The M.I.T. Press, Cambridge (1966)Google Scholar
  94. Strapparava, C., Valitutti, A.: WordNet-Affect: An affective extension of WordNet. In: 4th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC-2004), Lisbon, January 2004. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/254746105_WordNet-Affect_an_Affective_Extension_of_WordNet. Accessed 21 May 2018
  95. Tuchman, B.W.: A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century. Ballantine Books, New York (1978)Google Scholar
  96. Underhill, E.: Mysticism: A Study in the Nature and Development of Man’s Spiritual Consciousness. Methuen, London (1957). (Original work published 1930)Google Scholar
  97. Walker, S.: The Long Hangover: Putin’s New Russia and the Ghosts of the Past. Oxford University Press, New York (2018)Google Scholar
  98. Weber, M.: The Protestant Ethic and The Spirit of Capitalism (S. Kalberg, Trans.). Oxford University Press, London (2011). (Original work published 1905 under the title “Die Protestantische Ethik und der Geist des Kapitalismus“)Google Scholar
  99. Wells, H.G.: The War of the Worlds. Dover Publications, Mineola (2015). (Original work published 1898). https://www.gutenberg.org/files/36/36-0.txt. Accessed 20 January 2016
  100. West, A.N., Martindale, C., Sutton-Smith, B.: Age trends in the content of children’s spontaneous fantasy narratives. Genet. Soc. Gen. Psychol. Monog. 111, 391–405 (1985)Google Scholar
  101. Wilson, A.: Development and application of a content analysis dictionary for body boundary research. Lit. Ling. Comp. 21(1), 105–110 (2006)Google Scholar
  102. Young, L., Soroka, S.: Affective news: the automated coding of sentiment in political texts. Polit. Comm. 29, 205–231 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  103. Zola, E.: La Débâcle (Elinor Dorday, trans.). Oxford University Press, London (2017). (Original work published 1892)Google Scholar
  104. Zweig, S.: The World of Yesterday: An Autobiography. The University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE (1964). (Original work published posthumously 1943)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Emeritus, Institute of Psychological SciencesUniversité catholique de LouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium

Personalised recommendations