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A meta-analysis of correlations between depression and first person singular pronoun use

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Depression is a burden. We discuss how theories, identification, assessment, and treatment of depression are at least partially tied to the correlation between first person singular pronoun use and individual differences in depression. We conducted a meta-analysis (k = 21, N = 3758) of these correlations, including numerous unpublished correlations from the file drawer. Our fixed effects analysis revealed a small correlation (r = 0.13, 95% CI = [0.10–0.16]) by modern standards. The correlation was not moderated by gender, nor by whether the effect had been published. These results more firmly establish first person singular pronoun use as a linguistic marker of depression - a marker that appears to be useful across demographic lines.



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Citation:

Edwards, T., & Holtzman, N. S. (2017). A meta-analysis of correlations between depression and first person singular pronoun use. Journal of Research in Personality, 68, 63–68. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrp.2017.02.005