Automatic identification of writers’ intentions: Comparing different methods for predicting relationship goals in online dating profile texts

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Psychologically motivated, lexicon-based text analysis methods such as LIWC (Pennebaker et al., 2015) have been criticized by computational linguists for their lack of adaptability, but they have not often been systematically compared with either human evaluations or machine learning approaches. The goal of the current study was to assess the effectiveness and predictive ability of LIWC on a relationship goal classification task. In this paper, we compared the outcomes of (1) LIWC, (2) machine learning, and (3) a human baseline. A newly collected corpus of online dating profile texts (a genre not explored before in the ACL anthology) was used, accompanied by the profile writers’ self-selected relationship goal (long-term versus date). These three approaches were tested by comparing their performance on identifying both the intended relationship goal and content-related text labels. Results show that LIWC and machine learning models correlate with human evaluations in terms of content-related labels. LIWC’s content-related labels corresponded more strongly to humans than those of the classifier. Moreover, all approaches were similarly accurate in predicting the relationship goal.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 5th Workshop on Noisy User-generated Text (W-NUT 2019)
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019
EventThe 5th Workshop on Noisy User-generated Text (W-NUT @ EMNLP) - Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Duration: 4 Nov 2019 → …


WorkshopThe 5th Workshop on Noisy User-generated Text (W-NUT @ EMNLP)
CountryHong Kong
CityHong Kong
Period4/11/19 → …


Cite this