The Evaluative Lexicon 2.0: The measurement of emotionality, extremity, and valence in language

Matthew D. Rocklage*, Derek D. Rucker, Loran F. Nordgren

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The rapid expansion of the Internet and the availability of vast repositories of natural text provide researchers with the immense opportunity to study human reactions, opinions, and behavior on a massive scale. To help researchers take advantage of this new frontier, the present work introduces and validates the Evaluative Lexicon 2.0 (EL 2.0)—a quantitative linguistic tool that specializes in the measurement of the emotionality of individuals’ evaluations in text. Specifically, the EL 2.0 utilizes natural language to measure the emotionality, extremity, and valence of evaluative reactions and attitudes. The present article describes how we used a combination of 9 million real-world online reviews and over 1,500 participant judges to construct the EL 2.0 and an additional 5.7 million reviews to validate it. To assess its unique value, the EL 2.0 is compared with two other prominent text analysis tools—LIWC and Warriner et al.’s (Behavior Research Methods, 45, 1191–1207, 2013) wordlist. The EL 2.0 is comparatively distinct in its ability to measure emotionality and explains a significantly greater proportion of the variance in individuals’ evaluations. The EL 2.0 can be used with any data that involve speech or writing and provides researchers with the opportunity to capture evaluative reactions both in the laboratory and “in the wild.” The EL 2.0 wordlist and normative emotionality, extremity, and valence ratings are freely available from

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1327-1344
Number of pages18
JournalBehavior Research Methods
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018


  • Attitudes
  • Cognition
  • Emotion
  • Language
  • Text analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)


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