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#PuertoRicoSeLevanta: a Closer Look at the Language Used on the First-Year Anniversary of Hurricane Maria

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In September of 2017, Puerto Rico was hit by Hurricane Maria. Reactions to the hurricane were widely discussed on the social media site Twitter. The principal aim of the study was to examine the psychological processes of tweets 1-year after Hurricane Maria and compare patterns of psychological processes within tweets originating from Puerto Rico relative to tweets originating from the continental United States and other countries. Also, researchers aim to geo-map the origin of tweets, as well as psychological processes exhibited in tweets worldwide. Researchers collected tweets (N = 1191) using #María, #PRSeLevanta, and #PuertoRico between September 20, 2018, and September 25, 2018. Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count software application was used to conduct a quantitative linguistic analysis of the sample of tweets, which classified the language utilized in the tweets across affective, social, psychological, and cognitive dimensions. A one-way between-groups multivariate analysis of variance investigated whether the affective, social, psychological, and cognitive dimensions of the language utilized in the tweet varied as a function of where the tweet originated. Tweets varied in psychosocial dimensions as a function of where they originated, such that tweets originating from Puerto Rico used more language classified as positive emotion, cognitive processes, and referencing money in comparison with tweets originating elsewhere. These findings demonstrate how the particular use of words after a traumatic event can provide rich information about psychological processes and health outcomes experienced by individuals in the aftermath of disaster.

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Correspondence to Von Marie Rodríguez-Guzmán.

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Rodríguez-Guzmán, V.M., García-Ramírez, G.M., Bogen, K.W. et al. #PuertoRicoSeLevanta: a Closer Look at the Language Used on the First-Year Anniversary of Hurricane Maria. J. technol. behav. sci. 6, 358–364 (2021).

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