Please join us for the next NLP Seminar this Thursday (Dec. 3) at 4pm in 205 South Hall.

Speaker: Vinodkumar Prabhakaran, Stanford (

Title: Social Power in Interactions: Computational Analysis and Detection of Power


Abstract: In this talk, I will present study done as part of my thesis research on how social power relations affect the way people interact with one another and how we can use statistical machine learning techniques to detect these power relations automatically. This study is performed in the domain of organizational emails using the Enron email corpus. I will first present the problem of predicting superior-subordinate relationship between pairs of people, based solely on the language and structure of interactions within single email threads. We found many dialog behavior patterns that are salient to the direction of power. For example, superiors tend to send shorter messages, and use more overt displays of power than subordinates. I will then present the results of our investigation on how the gender of the participants impacts the manifestations of power. For example, do male superiors and female superiors differ in how often they use overt displays of power?