So Far, So Good

Responses to my Phase One focus group/survey have been coming in slow, but steady. I'm excited to get more responses, and begin shaping Phase II.

Already, there are some interesting patterns. For one, the most common negative trait/word so far is "selfish"; the most common positive is "intelligent" (or a similar word like "smart" or "brilliant". I have a strong suspicion that such a pattern may be related to the self-selecting group which has chosen to respond; we'll see how it shakes out with more responses.

If you haven't taken it yet, here's the link to the survey

If you have taken it, and have thought up of more words, you're welcome to take it again. This part of the data collecting is more of a disjointed brainstorming session than anything else - dive in!

Survey Phase One OPEN - Compliments and Insults

In the course of brainstorming positive/negative words for the language bias study, I belatedly (and bemusedly) realized just how *big* the English language is. To that end, I need some brainpower from fellow Internet Citizens to help narrow down the most common positive and negative traits - ie, "Compliments and Insults". 

So I set up this Survey Monkey to fetch the data I am so grateful for. It is, for all intents and purposes, a (hopefully) very large focus group that will inform the larger study.

If you have a few minutes, your input is greatly appreciated. It's a two-page, 6-question survey. For science!

(Yes, I realize that there are bias and sampling issues with Internet-only data. No study is perfect and I will address it in the analysis.)

Gender and Language Survey

It's high time I began the research project I have thought about for, quite literally, years.

Academic research regarding gender bias in language has tended to focus on either pronouns (the use of masculine pronouns by default, for example) or on eliminating the use of gendered terms for professions. A few style guides touch on gender bias communicated through language (ie, focusing on different traits for different genders of characters).

I am more curious about the gendered cultural perceptions of individual words themselves. I want to know if the words themselves, when taken out of all context, are perceived as masculine, feminine, or neutral. I'd also like to see if those same words are perceived as positive, negative, and the neutral.

I'm finalizing the methodology and will be launching the study in the next few weeks.