Senator Barack Obama is able to invoke emotion while John McCain addresses show signs of clinical depression, a scientific study has discovered.
Using ever more sophisticated software and mathematical algorithms, scientists are increasingly able to pick apart political speeches. They analyzed language, pitch, tone and facial expressions to get a clue as to whether politicians are being sincere. To prove the point David Skillicorn, a mathematics and computer science researcher at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, analyzed the speeches of John McCain, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, during the election race.
His findings published in the New Scientist concluded that even though the candidates receive training and have their speeches written for them, personal traits still shine through. While each of the 150 speeches studied varied no matter who was delivering them. McCain’s speeches fall flat and even showed signs of someone with clinical depression. His voice changes little in pitch as he speaks, and so conveys very little emotion or impact, it was said. Clinton was more neutral.
Mr. Skillicorn has developed an algorithm that evaluates word usage within the text of a conversation or speech to determine when a person “presents themselves or their content in a way that does not necessarily reflect what they know to be true”. “The important thing to recognize is that politicians aren’t typically good at out-and-out lies, but they are very adept at dancing around the truth,” Mr. Skillicorn concluded.