BEN'S INTERVIEW WITH JAMIE PENNEBAKER, Ph.D.
On August 26, 2011, we had a wonderful interview with psychologist
Jamie Pennebaker, Ph.D., whose forthcoming book The
Secret Life of Pronouns: What Our Words Say About Us details
how the smallest, most commonly used, most forgettable words serve as
windows into our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.
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ABOUT JAMIE PENNEBAKER, Ph.D.
Jamie Pennebaker, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized social psychologist who's endlessly curious about human nature. His latest book is The Secret Life of Pronouns.
In his earlier work, Jamie learned that keeping secrets can make people sick. This work led to his discovery that people could improve their physical and mental health by writing about their deepest secrets, which is now widely known as expressive writing.
Jamie's popular book Opening Up: The Healing Power of Expressing Emotion and Writing to Heal focuses on the therapeutic value of expressive writing.
Most recently, he's become intrigued by how people reveal themselves in their everyday spoken and written language.
Jamie Pennebaker is Regents Centennial Liberal Arts Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin.
He's a member of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers and a consultant to businesses, medical schools, and various federal agencies that address corporate and national security issues. Jamie is the author or editor of 10 books and almost 300 scientific articles. He ranks among the most cited researchers in psychology, psychiatry, and the social sciences.
Jamie grew up in Midland, Texas. He has been married to the accomplished writer Ruth Pennebaker since 1972. His daughter Teal works in communication and public policy in Washington, D.C. and his son Nick is involved in oil and gas exploration in Austin, Texas.
ABOUT THE SECRET LIFE OF PRONOUNS
The Secret Life of Pronouns: What Our Words Say About Us, which will be published August 30, traces the discovery of the links between function words and social and psychological states. Written for a general audience, the book takes the reader on a remarkable and often unexpected journey into the minds of authors, poets, lyricists, politicians, and everyday people through their use of words.
At the heart of this book is the idea that our words leave indelible fingerprints of personality, our relationships and backgrounds, and even our plans for the future. Once you see the power of pronouns, articles, and other function words, you will better understand:
How Tweets and Facebook posts can tell us about
the personality of their authors.