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Professors who have hosted AMAs have also reported a corresponding uptick in media interest: reporters often use Reddit to source experts, and AMAs are easily discoverable on search engines too. There are bound to be tons of people on Reddit interested, too, and they have questions for an expert like you! Plus, if you host there, you can cross-promote it on other subreddits more on that later.


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Breakups are a fundamental part of the human experience, but heartbreak is never routine. The last chapter of a romantic relationship is often plagued by questions — What changed?

Who changed? Breakups shake up a person's world so much, new research suggests, you might be in the process of ending things without even realizing. In a study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciencesresearchers show how impending breakups can be identified up to three months before they actually occur.

Reddit study reveals how many months it takes to get over a breakup

Language markers used to detect impending breakups, in turn, lasted up to six months after the event. Sarah Seraj is a research assistant at the University of Texas at Austin and the lead author on the study. She tells Inverse the effect of a breakup goes far beyond the romantic realm.

How breakups unfold — Breakups, Seraj explains, are difficult to study in a natural setting.

Researchers typically use retrospective self-reports to work out what went down — and if you've ever listened to a friend recount their own breakup story, you will know these retellings may not be as reliable or as objective as science demands. Instead, Seraj and her team turned to as objective a measure as they could: natural language data.

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At first glance, these data look like a social media post or a text chat with friends. Through the eyes of a scientist, they offer a record of subtle changes in psychological states.

The computational analysis of natural language, Seraj explains, is a fairly new tool — but critical. Computers can detect small changes a person cannot — like how pronouns and prepositions play into psychology. Bring in the Redditors— To gather natural language data, the team turned to Reddit.

What makes Reddit fruitful for this kind of study, Seraj explains, is you can track a person's conversations across different areas of their life based on the subreddits they engage with. What was discovered — Language markers of impending breakups were evident up to three months before the event, peaked on the week of the breakup, and returned to baseline about six months later, according to the study.

Cognitive processing refers to how a person makes sense of or reacts to an event.

In the context of this study, an example would be when people tried to figure out why their relationship ended, and understand their role. The changes in language observed in the pre-breakup phase suggest disruptions to typical thinking patterns happen before the breakups themselves occur.

The big takeaway — This study is the first to track how long breakups affect emotional states by analyzing language data.

On average, it took users about nine months to return to their baseline. Ultimately, people who posted about their breakups for longer time periods had the hardest time getting over it, and took the longest to move on. This makes sense in some ways, but not others.

But rumination can be detrimental to the psyche. Writing about the same events repeatedly, the study team theorizes, can cause individuals to consistently relive distressing events, ultimately postponing their recovery. There is a silver lining for the suddenly single, however: Those who are coping with romantic loss are very much not alone, Seraj says. Sarah Sloat. In this example from the study, the bolded words are s of cognitive processing: "I'm undecided whether or not to share my story.

I need some help because I feel lost but my story is long and not sure whether it's worth sharing.

Language markers can detect impending relationship breakups up to 3 mo before they occur, with continued psychological aftereffects lasting 6 mo after the breakup. Comparable cognitive and social effects are apparent among people undergoing divorce or dealing with major life secrets. The analysis of subtle shifts in pronouns, articles, and other almost-invisible words can reveal the psychological effects of life experiences.

Related Tags Psychology Relationships. Mind and Body.