Proceedings of The 6th World Conference on Research in Social Sciences
Osgood’s Semantic Differentiator Put to the Test of the Language of Today’s Young People
The semantic differentiator, developed by Osgood and his team in the 1950s, is a psychometric tool whose applications may include: measurement of attitudes, personality assessment, psychopathological exploration, and cultural and linguistic differences. Since then, our world continues to undergo global, rapid and massive changes. The Internet and new information and communication technologies have created new modes of exchange. People, especially young people, are now opting for social networks: Facebook, Instagram, Tick-tock, etc. And instant messaging, audio and video calls via: Viber, WhatsApp, Messenger, etc. These mutations in the modes of communication have modified the structure of the language used in these exchanges. The semantic differentiator is a bipolar scale graduated in seven points, composed of adjectives and their antonyms and whose objective is to explore the perceptions of a sample of people, to whom we present a group of chosen words, relating to a certain social reality.
This article questions the applicability of Osgood’s semantic differentiator in the semantic space of the language of young people today and thus interprets the connotations of the words they use to express their affects and emotions.
keywords: affect, connotation, denotation, meaning, scale