Date of Submission

Spring 2012

Academic Program


Project Advisor 1

Barbara Luka

Abstract/Artist's Statement

President Barack Obama has been an enigmatic figure since he emerged onto the national stage in 2004. The present study examines his emotional, cognitive, and psychological states through his use of words. The transcripts of 52 interviews and press conferences were analyzed using a computerized text analysis program. Through the classification of these samples based on speech content, distinct language patterns were found among the topics of foreign affairs, domestic policy, the political climate, and the economy. Drawing on past research linking natural language use and personality characteristics, the results suggest that, when discussing each of these four discourse themes, Mr. Obama exhibited unique linguistic styles variously associated with pronoun use, affective processes, cognitive complexity, and presidentiality.

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