Weigh your words: An exploration of natural word use in a fat studies course



The authors explored the natural language use of students enrolled in a university fat studies course using Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count software. Analytic thinking and clout primarily characterized students’ writings. Cognitive processes accounted for the greatest proportion of word use. Use of social words increased while biological processes word use decreased over time. Within affect words, positive emotions predominated negative emotions. Positive emotions decreased and negative emotions increased during the middle of the course, but positive and negative emotions increased and decreased respectively by course completion. Results are discussed as they reflect the goals of fat pedagogy.