James W. Pennebaker is an American psychologist and linguist. Pennebaker’s research examines a putative relationship between writing and talking and physical health. He is professor and chair of the Department of Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin and is the author or editor of 8 books and over 200 articles. Together with his students he has researched the link between language and recovering from traumatic events. Pennebaker received a grant from the Army Research Institute to study language and social dynamics.
In 2001 Pennebaker published a software, Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC): A Computerized Text Analysis Program (pronounced “luke”).
This program is used to analyze the language of the candidates for the 2008 United States presidential election and some of the results are shown on the Internet.
Free analysis of text is offered online at http://www.liwc.net
Jamie and I spoke about the healing power of writing, how language puts emotions and feelings into structure, and what your tweets say about you.