George Socha, Reveal: Getting Sentimental: Using Emotional Signals in eDiscovery

Extract from George Socha’s article “Getting Sentimental: Using Emotional Signals in eDiscovery”

Our written communications can be heavily larded with “sentiment”. In common parlance, sentiment is “the emotional significance of a passage or expression as distinguished from its verbal context“. At Reveal, we characterize sentiment as the tone of the language used in a communication such an email message.

As litigators, investigators, and the people who support them, if we can find and analyze sentiment in discovery documents then we greatly improve our ability to figure out who did what, when, where, how, and most notably why.

Content conveying sentiment can be especially useful in providing context. It can help us better understand the emotional circumstances leading to the formulation of an idea, the framing of a statement, the initiation of an action. It can provide insights into what motivated people to act as they did.

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