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UT LA 125 - 03_Daniels

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Amanda DanielsDr. PennebakerL A 1251 March 2021 White Paper #3 (Credit/ No Credit) Introduction This is Us is one of modern-day televisions most emotional drama series. Its known for its tear-jerking plot and award-winning acting. The script has also been awarded by several organizationfor outstanding writing. The series features a diverse cast in age, race, and gender. The show hasbeen praised for such diversity and its outstanding attention to cultural detail in its storytelling. MethodsI wanted to measure the usage of emotional language in the writing of this show. To do so, I created a file in Excel that included three categories, “Total Emotion words”, “Positive Emotion”, and “Negative Emotion”. Amongst these categories, I compiled a list of words that are used to express states of emotions: sad, happy, angry, depressed, surprised, calm, excited, cry, mad, upset, yell, smile, laugh, and scream. I chose three episodes, “I Call Marriage”, “Worlds Best Washing Machine”, and “Number Two”. These episodes have been voted by several blog sites assome of the most emotional episodes of the series. I found transcripts of these episodes and copied the text into TextEdit for Mac OS. I then uploaded the dictionary I had created on TextEdit to the LIWC system included the three categories and list of emotion words. Results These are the results of my dictionary creation with the LIWC program:ConclusionBased off of the results of my dictionary, the percentages of words that explicitly express an emotion were used very little in the script. The results show that out of the total script, the “emotion word” used fell somewhere between about .2% and .5%, very low in comparison tothe overall word count for each script. It is also apparent that in these three episodes, the positive emotion words outweighed the negative emotion words, which is interesting considering that these were the episodes voted for being the most “tear jerking”. This must mean that the plot invoked tears from a joyous or sentimental place. I believe that these results only further prove that the writers and actors do an exceptional job at telling a compelling story that evokes emotion without the use of literal

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