Bootstrapping a Lexicon for Emotional Arousal in Software Engineering

Mika V. Mäntylä, Nicole Novielli, Filippo Lanubile, Maëlick Claes, Miikka Kuutila

Emotional arousal increases activation and performance but may also lead to burnout in software development. We present the first version of a Software Engineering Arousal lexicon (SEA) that is specifically designed to address the problem of emotional arousal in the software developer ecosystem. SEA is built using a bootstrapping approach that combines word embedding model trained on issue-tracking data and manual scoring of items in the lexicon. We show that our lexicon is able to differentiate between issue priorities, which are a source of emotional activation and then act as a proxy for arousal. The best performance is obtained by combining SEA (428 words) with a previously created general purpose lexicon by Warriner et al. (13,915 words) and it achieves Cohen's d effect sizes up to 0.5.

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