According to a new US study, there are some words which, when spoken frequently, might indicate that one is stressed.
According to a group of speech experts, when someone is stressed, they inadvertently use words such as ‘really’, ‘so’ and ‘very.’
They also speak less, the researchers found.
The study which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences examined the speech patterns of 143 volunteers, each of whom wore a voice recorder which was turned on every few minutes for two days.
Matthias Mehl, a psychologist at the University of Arizona, who subsequently transcribed and studied the recordings, listening out for any repeated words and expressions became particularly interested in the volunteers' use of pronouns and adjectives.
Next, he and a team of genomicists analysed participants’ psychological stress levels by looking at the gene expression in their white blood cells and in addition to finding that stressed participants were more likely to use adverbs, they also found that they were less likely to use third-person plural pronouns such as “their” and “they”.
According to him, this might be due to the fact that people tend to focus on themselves when they feel under pressure, rather than thinking about those around them, the researchers suggested.
They concluded that speech patterns were a better indicator of stress levels than a volunteer’s personal assessment....