Talk title: Heart Beats Brain – Measuring Moral Beliefs through E-Mail Analysis


Peter A. Gloor, Andrea Fronzetti Colladonb

Talk abstract:

Moral beliefs are at the heart of governing a person’s behavior. We introduce a way to automatically measure a person’s moral values through hidden “honest” signals in the person’s e-mail communication. We measured the e-mail behavior of 26 users through their e-mail interaction,
calculating their seven “honest signals of collaboration” (strong leadership, balanced contribution, rotating leadership, responsiveness, honest sentiment, shared context, social capital). These honest signals – in other words, how they answered their e-mail – explained 70 percent of their moral values measured with the moral foundations survey. In particular, the more positive and less emotional
they were in their language, the more they cared about others. We verified the results with a larger e-mail dataset of 655 employees of a services firm, where structural and temporal honest signals explained 67% of emotionality.