The words we use in our daily life reflects who we are, what we feel, and the social relationships we are in. This makes language a fertile ground for studying psychology. I am interested in how the language we produced reveals or shapes our mind. My research uses open-ended surveys, sizable linguistic corpora, network analysis and language models, with applications to the following projects:
Theme 1: Risk perception
- How has the perception of risk changed over the past two centuries?
- What events do people considered as risky and how they relate to each other?
- Developing a culturally-universal risk preference scale.
Theme 2: Emotion and wellbeing
- Developed a culturally-universal affect scale using free recall paradigm (Emotion Recall Task)
- How do children acquire emotion concepts?
- How do meanings of emotion words change over history?
- Whether forward-looking attitude predicts national wellbeing and economic prosperity?
Theme 3: Corpus linguistics
- What makes some words more likely to acquire new meanings than others?
- The role of psycholinguistic factors in information transmission.
- Modelling perception of conceptual metaphors.
- Li, Y*., Engelthaler, T., Siew, C. S., & Hills, T. T. (2019). The Macroscope: A tool for examining the historical structure of language. Behavior research methods, 51(4), 1864-1877.https://doi.org/10.3758/s13428-018-1177-6
- Li, Y*., Masitah, A., & Hills, T. T. (2020). The Emotional Recall Task: Juxtaposing recall and recognition-based affect scales. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 46(9), 1782–1794. https://doi.org/10.1037/xlm0000841
- Li, Y*., Hills, T. T., & Hertwig, R. (2020). A brief history of risk. Cognition, 203, 104344. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2020.104344
- Li, Y*., & Hills, T. T. (2021). Language patterns of outgroup prejudice. Cognition, 215, 104813. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2021.104813
- Li, Y., Luan, S*., Li, Y., & Hertwig, R. (In press). Changing emotions in the COVID-19 pandemic: A four-wave longitudinal study in the United States and China. Social Science & Medicine.
- Li, Y., Luan, S*., Li, Y., Wu, J., Li, W., & Hertwig, R. (In press). Does risk perception motivate preventive behavior during a pandemic? A longitudinal study in the United States and China. American Psychologist.
- 2015, M.Sc., Behavioral Economics, University of Warwick
- 2019, P.hD., Psychology, University of Warwick