Language, whether spoken or written, is an important window into people's emotional, social, and cognitive worlds. Text analysis of these narratives--focusing on specific words or classes of words--has been used in numerous studies of individual's verbal and written language. It was in this research context that the LIWC program was developed. The LIWC program analyzes text files on a word-by-word basis, calculating percentage words that match each of several language dimensions. Its output is a text file that can be opened in any of a variety of applications, including word-processors and spreadsheet programs. The program has 72 pre-set dimensions (output variables) including linguistic dimensions (e.g., percentage of articles, pronouns), word categories tapping psychological constructs (e.g., positive and negative emotions, causal words), and personal concern categories (e.g., sex, death), and can accommodate user-defined dimensions as well. The 2001 edition also can segment and run a LIWC analysis on each segment.
This easy-to-use software allows researchers to analyze text files of any size for the presence and prevalence of standard and user-defined categories of words. It will be useful to applied and basic researchers working with verbal protocols and self-reports. The second edition is now available for both PC and Macintosh computers.