Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Identifier

1329

Author

Jeremy Luno

Date

2015

Date of Award

4-9-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Psychology

Committee Chair

J. Gayle Beck

Committee Member

Xiangen Hu

Committee Member

Roger Kreuz

Abstract

Linguistic features can predict several aspects of human behavior. Little is known, however, whether syntactic, semantic, and structural language features can also predict psychological disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder. The current study investigated whether the linguistic properties in trauma narratives written by survivors of a Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA), change as a function of the intensity of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. A short form diagnostic tool known as the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist (PCL) was used to determine the severity of participant PTSD symptomatology. Scores were then compared to linguistic variables from seven different computational algorithms. In an experiment participants were asked to write a neutral narrative or a narrative that described their traumatic event. Results from this study suggest that the relative intensity of PTSD symptomatology affects syntactic, semantic, and structural aspects of the narrative.

Comments

Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.

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