Modelling Valence and Arousal in Facebook posts

Preoţiuc-Pietro, Daniel, Andrew H. Schwartz, Gregory Park, Johannes Eichstaedt, Margaret Kern, Lyle Ungar, and Elisabeth Shulman. Modelling Valence and Arousal in Facebook posts In Workshop on Computational Approaches to Subjectivity, Sentiment and Social Media Analysis (WASSA). NAACL, 2016.


Access to expressions of subjective personal posts increased with the popularity of Social Media. However, most of the work in sentiment analysis focuses on predicting only valence from text and usually targeted at a product, rather than affective states. In this paper, we introduce a new data set of 2895 Social Media posts rated by two psychologically-trained annotators on two separate ordinal nine-point scales. These scales represent valence (or sentiment) and arousal (or intensity), which defines each post’s position on the circumplex model of affect, a well-established system for describing emotional states (Russell, 1980; Posner et al., 2005). The data set is used to train prediction models for each of the two dimensions from text which achieve high predictive accuracy – correlated at r = :65 with valence and r = :85 with arousal annotations. Our data set offers a building block to a deeper study of personal affect as expressed in social media. This can be used in applications such as mental illness detection or in automated large-scale psychological studies.


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