A study from Queen Mary University in London, determined that liberals use more profanity on Twitter than conservatives.
Researchers determined their results by studying over 300,000 followers of official Democratic and Republican Party accounts to find differences in language between people of opposing political leanings.
Researchers concluded that liberals were more likely to use swear words because they tended to be more emotionally expressive than conservatives.
Among the top words that liberals used were “shit” and “fuck” along with “happy,” “like,” “feel,” and “amaze,” researchers discovered. Additionally liberals were more likely to tweet about pop culture as words such as, “world cup,” “nene,” and “album,” appeared frequently on liberal accounts.
On the flip side, researchers discovered that conservatives used language that tended to reflect their identity with worlds like “god,” “psalm,” “America,” “country,” and “border.” Additionally names that Republicans tend to loathe such as “Obama,” “Reid” and “Pelosi,” were popular among conservative Twitter users.
Researchers said that the words that conservatives use typically reflect their religious and national identities, while liberals use language that focuses more on their individual identity.
This study results concluded that liberals frequently use first person pronouns such as “I” and “me,” while conservatives prefer collective pronouns such as “we” and “our.”
“Open social media provides a huge amount of data for use in understanding offline behavior,” said Mathew Purver, co-author of the study. “The way people talk and interact on Twitter can provide a more robust and natural source for analyzing behavior than the traditional experiments and surveys.”
Authors of the study said the results were not surprising as physiological research backs up their finding, saying that liberals tend to be more emotive, while conservatives tend to emphasize their group identity.
“The results closely matched our predictions based on existing understanding of political supporters’ psychology,” Purver said. “This means we could use Twitter data in future to better understand people’s behavior and personality, while also using psychological research to understand more about Twitter users.”