When Threats Strike: Establishment of a Linguistic Tool for Tracking Threats Over Time
Gelfand, Michele J.
MetadataShow full item record
The ability to detect fluctuations and upticks in levels of societal threats has important implications for understanding a variety of social and psychological group processes. In this study, I develop and validate a comprehensive linguistic dictionary, which identifies the common terminology used to describe collective threats in the English lexicon. These threat-relevant terms are tracked across a large corpus of newspaper articles and social media postings over time, generating indices that enable real-time and historical assessments. As a comprehensive measure of collective threats over time, this study tests how threats correspond to key cultural, political, and economical societal shifts. Additionally, this project seeks to capture how content that deploys more threat terms can be instrumental in capturing more public attention.