On 9/11, Americans may not have been as angry as you thought they were


Science Blog
May 12, 2011

On September 11, 2001, the air was sizzling with anger — and the anger got hotter as the hours passed. That, anyway, was one finding of a 2010 analysis by Mitja Back, Albrecht Küfner, and Boris Egloff of 85,000 pager messages sent that day. The researchers employed a commonly used tool called Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count, or LIWC, which teases out information from the frequency of word usages in texts.

But were Americans really so angry? Clemson University psychologist Cynthia L. S. Pury wasn’t out to answer that question when she made the discovery that was just published online in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

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