Evaluation of Semantic Change of Harm-Related Concepts in Psychology

Ekaterina Vylomova, Sean Murphy, Nicholas Haslam


Abstract
The paper focuses on diachronic evaluation of semantic changes of harm-related concepts in psychology. More specifically, we investigate a hypothesis that certain concepts such as “addiction”, “bullying”, “harassment”, “prejudice”, and “trauma” became broader during the last four decades. We evaluate semantic changes using two models: an LSA-based model from Sagi et al. (2009) and a diachronic adaptation of word2vec from Hamilton et al. (2016), that are trained on a large corpus of journal abstracts covering the period of 1980– 2019. Several concepts showed evidence of broadening. “Addiction” moved from physiological dependency on a substance to include psychological dependency on gaming and the Internet. Similarly, “harassment” and “trauma” shifted towards more psychological meanings. On the other hand, “bullying” has transformed into a more victim-related concept and expanded to new areas such as workplaces.
Anthology ID:
W19-4704
Volume:
Proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Computational Approaches to Historical Language Change
Month:
August
Year:
2019
Address:
Florence, Italy
Venues:
ACL | WS
SIG:
Publisher:
Association for Computational Linguistics
Note:
Pages:
29–34
Language:
URL:
https://www.aclweb.org/anthology/W19-4704
DOI:
10.18653/v1/W19-4704
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PDF:
http://aclanthology.lst.uni-saarland.de/W19-4704.pdf