The importance of pronouns to sentiment analysis: Online cancer survivor network case study

Nir Ofek, Lior Rokach, Cornelia Caragea, John Yen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Online health communities are a major source for patients and their informal caregivers in the process of gathering information and seeking social support. The Cancer Survivors Network of the American Cancer Society has many users and presents a large number of user interactions with regards to coping with cancer. Sentiment analysis is an important process in understanding members' needs and concerns and the impact of users' responses on other members. It aims to determine the participants' subjective attitude and reflect their emotions. Analyzing the sentiment of posts in online health communities enables the investigation of various factors such as what affects the sentiment change and discovery of sentiment change patterns. Since each writer has his or her own personality, and temporal emotional state, behavioral traits can be reflected in the writer's writing style. Pronouns are function-words which often convey some unique styling patterns into the texts. Drawing on a lexical approach to emotions, we conduct factor analysis on the use of pronouns in self-descriptions texts. Our analysis shows that the usage of pronouns has an effect on sentiment classification. Moreover, we evaluated the use of pronouns in our domain, and found it different than standard English usage.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWWW 2015 Companion - Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on World Wide Web
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages83-84
Number of pages2
ISBN (Electronic)9781450334730
DOIs
StatePublished - 18 May 2015
Event24th International Conference on World Wide Web, WWW 2015 - Florence, Italy
Duration: 18 May 201522 May 2015

Publication series

NameWWW 2015 Companion - Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on World Wide Web

Conference

Conference24th International Conference on World Wide Web, WWW 2015
Country/TerritoryItaly
CityFlorence
Period18/05/1522/05/15

Keywords

  • Behavioral traits
  • Pronouns
  • Self-descriptions
  • Sentiment analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Software

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