Posted on 08/19/2021 at 08:50 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

If you feel like literature has become bleaker, you’re not wrong.

That’s the conclusion of a study from Indiana University that was published in June.

Researchers analyzed over 14 million books published in English, German, and Spanish over the past 160 years to seek language trends.

What they found, according to Open Culture: “a sharp uptick in the language of depression” (cognitive distortions, for those of you familiar with psychology) starting in the 1980s.

There were also spikes, albeit not nearly as dramatic, during the Gilded Age in English novels and during and immediately after World War II in German ones.

The researchers noted that they are making no “causal claims” from the data, but do offer some theories as to why this is occurring.

Take a peek at the study’s findings on the language of depression in literature at Open Culture, or dive into the entire study at PNAS

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Categories: Today in Books

Tagged As: Language, Reading

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