DICTION Overview

DICTION is a computer-aided text analysis program for Windows® and Mac® that uses a series of dictionaries to search a passage for five semantic features—Activity, Optimism, Certainty, Realism and Commonality—as well as thirty-five sub-features. DICTION uses predefined dictionaries and can use up to thirty custom dictionaries built with words that the user has defined, such as topical or negative words, for particular research needs.

DICTION uses dictionaries (word-lists) to search a text for these qualities:

  •  Certainty - Language indicating resoluteness, inflexibility, and completeness and a tendency to speak ex cathedra.
  •  Activity - Language featuring movement, change, the implementation of ideas and the avoidance of inertia.
  •  Optimism - Language endorsing some person, group, concept or event, or highlighting their positive entailments.
  •  Realism - Language describing tangible, immediate, recognizable matters that affect people’s everyday lives.
  •  Commonality - Language highlighting the agreed-upon values of a group and rejecting idiosyncratic modes of engagement.

DICTION 7, now with Power Mode, can read a variety of text formats and can accept a large number of files within a single project. Projects containing over 1000 files are analyzed using power analysis for enhanced speed and reporting efficiency, with results automatically exported to .csv-formatted spreadsheet file.

The program uses a built-in database consisting of 50,000 previously analyzed tests. The user may apply these general norms or select from among thirty-six sub-categories, including speeches, poetry, newspaper editorials, business reports, scientific documents, television scripts, telephone conversations, etc., to get a comparative or “snapshot” view of their findings.

DICTION writes the results to numeric files for later statistical analysis. Output options include raw totals, standardized scores, word and character counts and percentages, thereby providing the user a variety of ways of understanding the text being processed.

On an average computer, DICTION can process over 20,000 passages in about five minutes. DICTION requires 4.9 MB of memory and 38.4 MB of hard disk space.

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