Spanish Speakers More Likely To Use Positive Words Than People Who Speak Other Languages, Study Finds

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Study finds that those who speak Spanish are more positive than those who speak other languages. Shutterstock/Creativa

Researchers from the University of Vermont have found an advantage and benefit of speaking Spanish. Or rather, in the way Spanish-speakers express themselves. According to the researchers, those who converse in Spanish are more positive and speak in a more positive manner than those who speak other languages.

"Using human evaluation of 100,000 words spread across 24 corpora in 10 languages diverse in origin and culture, we present evidence of a deep imprint of human sociality in language, observing that the words of natural human language possess a universal positivity bias; the estimated emotional content of words is consistent between languages under translation; and this positivity bias is strongly independent of frequency of word usage," write the authors of the study. "Alongside these general regularities, we describe inter-language variations in the emotional spectrum of languages which allow us to rank corpora. We also show how our word evaluations can be used to construct physical-like instruments for both real-time and offline measurement of the emotional content of large-scale texts."

The researchers looked at the way people communicate when they speak different languages, including: Spanish, English, Portuguese, German, French, Russian, Chinese, Arabic, Korean and Indonesian. They found that Spanish-speakers are more likely to choose positive phrases.

Scientist Peter Sheridan Dodds told EFE that in addition to positive content, "the emotional content of the Spanish language is the highest" amongst all the languages the researchers studied. The researchers, who spent eights years on the study (titled "Human Language Reveals a Universal Positivity Bias"), further cite that classical literature can prove their findings by the "very frequent" use of positive words and phrases. After analyzing over 100,000 words, the researchers came to their conclusions.

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Susmita Baral

Susmita Baral joined Latin Times in April 2013. Her work has been published in VICE, Weight Watchers Magazine, Unique Homes Magazine, US Airways Magazine, Vista Magazine, Daily Glow and Kaplan. She holds a B.A. Psychology from Rutgers University. A self-proclaimed foodie, Susmita is a freelance list maker, part-time Shaq devotee, and a full-time eyeliner junkie who believes mac and cheese is a birthright.