Analyzing the convention speeches

It'll be good when the election is finally over and we can move on to new things.

But, this is simply too good to pass up. Some scientists did textual and facial analysis of major convention speeches and came up with these observations of whether the speaker was being honest or was spinning.

The expression of disgust on former US president Bill Clinton's face during his speech to the Democratic National Convention as he says "Obama" lasts for just a fraction of a second.
Would have loved to see a photograph of the expression!

Obama's spin level skyrockets when facing problems in the press, such as when Jeremiah Wright, the reverend of his former church, made controversial comments to the press.
That I can believe, because it is simply comparing Obama's speeches with each other.

However, the scientists overreach when they say that:
Obama's speech scored a spin value of 6.7 - where 0 is the average level of spin within all the political speeches analysed, and positive values represent higher spin. In contrast, McCain's speech scored -7.58, while Hillary Clinton's speech at the Democratic National Convention scored 0.15.
There's a methodological problem in the study because the software counts usage of "we" rather than "I" and increased usage of action words as "spin". McCain's speech was very autobiographical ("I was tough as nails when they tried to torture me"), so would score low on their spin scale whereas Obama's was inspirational ("we can change this country! yes, we can")

The voice analysis profile for McCain looks very much like someone who is clinically depressed
This supposedly because McCain does not modulate his voice when speaking. But that may simply be poor public speaking skills and nothing to do with his mental state.

Finally, though the scientists say that they believe that:
the candidates almost certainly believe what they are saying, even if they are giving some facts a much lighter treatment than others.

UPDATE: Well you can trust a politician, but you can not trust a journalist. The scientist in question has a blog, and on the blog, the number given for Obama is 0.31 not 6.7 i.e. about average in terms of "spin". McCain is at the very low end. My criticism of the methodology still stands though.

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