Our ability to gather and process huge amounts of data does many things, including correcting intuitive biases and illuminating patterns of behavior
Our brains often don’t notice subtle verbal patterns, but Pennebaker’s computers can. Younger writers use more downbeat and past-tense words than older writers who use more positive and future-tense words.
Liars use more upbeat words like “pal” and “friend” but fewer excluding words like “but,” “except” and “without.” (When you are telling a false story, it’s hard to include the things you did not see or think about.)
We think of John Lennon as the most intellectual of the Beatles, but, in fact, Paul McCartney’s lyrics had more flexible and diverse structures and George Harrison’s were more cognitively complex.