Modeling Latent Dimensions of Human Beliefs


  • Huy Vu Stony Brook University
  • Salvatore Giorgi University of Pennsylvania
  • Jeremy D. W. Clifton University of Pennsylvania
  • Niranjan Balasubramanian Stony Brook University
  • H. Andrew Schwartz Stony Brook University



Subjectivity in textual data; sentiment analysis; polarity/opinion identification and extraction, linguistic analyses of social media behavior, Text categorization; topic recognition; demographic/gender/age identification, Psychological, personality-based and ethnographic studies of social media, Studies of digital humanities (culture, history, arts) using social media


How we perceive our surrounding world impacts how we live in and react to it. In this study, we propose LaBel (Latent Beliefs Model), an alternative to topic modeling that uncovers latent semantic dimensions from transformer-based embeddings and enables their representation as generated phrases rather than word lists. We use LaBel to explore the major beliefs that humans have about the world and other prevalent domains, such as education or parenting. Although human beliefs have been explored in previous works, our proposed model helps automate the exploring process to rely less on human experts, saving time and manual efforts, especially when working with large corpus data. Our approach to LaBel uses a novel modification of autoregressive transformers to effectively generate texts conditioning on a vector input format. Differently from topic modeling methods, our generated texts (e.g. “the world is truly in your favor”) are discourse segments rather than word lists, which helps convey semantics in a more natural manner with full context. We evaluate LaBel dimensions using both an intrusion task as well as a classification task of identifying categories of major beliefs in tweets finding greater accuracies than popular topic modeling approaches.




How to Cite

Vu, H., Giorgi, S., Clifton, J. D. W., Balasubramanian, N., & Schwartz, H. A. (2022). Modeling Latent Dimensions of Human Beliefs. Proceedings of the International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media, 16(1), 1064-1074.