Spin Expert Discusses U.S. Election Candidates

22-Feb-2008 11:45 AM EST, by Queen's University

Newswise — David Skillicorn, Queen's University computing professor and expert in political spin, says Barack Obama has a tendency to spin his messages, while John McCain has the lowest level of spin of all the candidates " followed by Hillary Clinton.

Using computer software designed to detect deception, Dr. Skillicorn analyzed speeches by candidates for the U.S. presidential election from the beginning of 2008 to the middle of February. He defines spin as the way politicians subtly change what they say to appeal to the widest audience possible, while maintaining a level of deniability.

To view the results of his research, including an ordered table of the most "spinful" speeches visit http://www.cs.queensu.ca/home/skill/uselection/

"It's not a good sign when a speaker avoids saying 'I' or 'me,' " it shows a subconscious attempt to distance oneself from the text," says Dr. Skillicorn. "And campaign speeches may be extra-prone to spin because they're the toughest to make."

Dr. Skillicorn says the model for hunting out speeches that have a high 'spin-factor' focuses on patterns like these:

- Fewer first-person pronouns (I, me, my, myself).

- Fewer "exception words," such as however and unless, perhaps to keep the story simple.

- More negative emotion words, perhaps because of some instinctive distaste about deceiving.

- More action words, perhaps to keep the story going so that inconsistencies may not be noticed.

Attention broadcasters: Queen's now has facilities to provide broadcast quality audio and video feeds. For television interviews, we can provide a live, real-time double ender from Kingston Ontario Canada via fibre optic cable and broadcast quality radio transmissions from our on-campus studio. Please call for details.

Filters close

Showing results

110 of 5973
Released: 14-May-2021 9:25 AM EDT
Addressing Systemic Racism in Academia: Live Expert Panel for May 19, 5:30pm ET
Newswise

Experts from the American Thoracic Society will discuss issues with systemic racism in academia as a follow-up to their session on this topic at the virtual 2021 ATS Annual Conference.

Newswise: Colonial Pipeline Hack Is Latest Example of Cybersecurity Threats to Physical Infrastructure
Released: 13-May-2021 3:05 PM EDT
Colonial Pipeline Hack Is Latest Example of Cybersecurity Threats to Physical Infrastructure
Arizona State University (ASU)

Ransomware and security: ASU Expert answers questions about securing the private side of the nation's infrastructure.

Released: 6-May-2021 11:05 AM EDT
Virtual Event Examines Impact and Evolution of the Role of America’s First Ladies
American University

Prominent scholars, archivists, historians, former White House staff members and insiders gather to explore the fascinating lives and evolving roles of America’s First Ladies Symposium. The event is hosted by the White House Historical Association in partnership with American University's First Ladies Initiative.

Newswise:Video Embedded covid-19-vaccine-understanding-herd-immunity-vaccine-hesitancy
VIDEO
Released: 5-May-2021 11:05 AM EDT
COVID-19 vaccine: Understanding herd immunity, vaccine hesitancy
University of Michigan

Since the beginning of the pandemic, herd immunity has been portrayed as the holy grail to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.


Showing results

110 of 5973

close
2.8235