Language Style Matching

The Secret Life of Pronouns

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a book by James W. Pennebaker

In Synch: Language Style Matching

Are you and your Special Friend on the same page? Are you clicking? In synch? Seeing eye to eye? Communicating effectively?

This application determines the degree to which any two samples of language are similar in their language styles. It can be most helpful in analyzing two sides of the same conversation. For best results, use a group of IMs, emails, text messages, even transcribed conversations, or even general writing samples between you and another person.

Once you enter your words in the interaction and then the other person’s words, you will get a number back that assesses the degree to which the two of you match. This number, called a language style matching, or LSM score, ranges from about .50 to 1.00. The closer you are to 1.00, the more in synch the two of you are.

Other studies have found that the LSM score is associated with how long a relationship lasts and its overall quality.

Before trying out the application, you will need to find and prepare some suitable writing samples.

Basic Instructions

For IMs (instant messages), text chats, text messages, or transcribed conversations:

  1. Copy the entire the IMs or chats into a Word document
  2. Sort the IMs so that your and the other person’s IMs are separated.
  3. When you are ready to analyze your IMs, click the SUBMIT button below. Then, in one of the two boxes, paste your IMs and in the other box, paste the other person’s IMs.

For emails or other writing samples (poems, class assignments):

  1. Find one or more emails or writing samples that you and the other person have exchanged. You will be copying and pasting each email or writing sample set separately.
  2. When you are ready to analyze the emails or writing samples, click the SUBMIT button below. Then, in one of the two boxes, paste your emails or writing samples and in the other box, paste the other person’s.

For best results, compare similar writing samples. In other words, compare IMs with IMs, emails with emails. Also, the more words from each of you, the better. Try to have a minimum of 50 words in each box.

When you are ready to try it out, click the submit button below.