Publications in 2018

Weidmann, Nils B., Sabine Otto and Lukas Kawerau. "The Use of Positive Words in Political Science Language" 

PS: Political Science & Politics 

Political science prides itself on objective and methodologically rigorous research. This should be reflected in a clear and concise writing style that convinces readers by the content of research, and not by the language that is used to report about it. In this short note, we demonstrate that is true only to a limited extent. We show that, similar to recent findings from natural science research, the frequency of positive words that political scientists use to describe their research has increased markedly over the last several decades. At the same time, however, the magnitude of this increase is much less pronounced. The article discusses and analyzes different potential explanations for this trend. We suspect that it can at least partly be attributed to changing norms in the discipline, where research framed in a positive way is more likely to be published.