How Did You like 2017? Detection of Language Markers of Depression and Narcissism in Personal Narratives

Eva-Maria Rathner, Julia Djamali, Yannik Terhorst, Björn Schuller, Nicholas Cummins, Gudrun Salamon, Christina Hunger-Schoppe, Harald Baumeister


Language analyses reveals crucial information about an individual’s current state of mind. Maladaptive psychological functioning appears in cognition, emotional experience and behaviour. In the time of the internet of things, a vast number of text and speech is available; subsequently, the interest in the automated detection of psychological functioning via language is rising. The current study indicates that depression and narcissism can be predicted through word use in personal narratives. Both conditions are characterised by an altered word count regarding anxiety and we (LIWC-based). While depressive individuals use less social words and more anxiety-related words, narcissists do the opposite. This might reflect the verbal correlate of the cognitive triad in depression. In contrast, narcissists’ word use mirrors their excommunicated anxiety of being an undesired self and their inability to reach long-term goals due to a lack of impulse control. The automated recognition of mental state through word use could improve early detection of mental disease, monitoring of disease course, delivery of tailored interventions and evaluation of therapy outcome.


 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2018-2040

Cite as: Rathner, E., Djamali, J., Terhorst, Y., Schuller, B., Cummins, N., Salamon, G., Hunger-Schoppe, C., Baumeister, H. (2018) How Did You like 2017? Detection of Language Markers of Depression and Narcissism in Personal Narratives. Proc. Interspeech 2018, 3388-3392, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2018-2040.


@inproceedings{Rathner2018,
  author={Eva-Maria Rathner and Julia Djamali and Yannik Terhorst and Björn Schuller and Nicholas Cummins and Gudrun Salamon and Christina Hunger-Schoppe and Harald Baumeister},
  title={How Did You like 2017? Detection of Language Markers of Depression and Narcissism in Personal Narratives},
  year=2018,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2018},
  pages={3388--3392},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2018-2040},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2018-2040}
}