The Psychology Underlying Pregnancy: Investigation of Social Comparison Processes and Their Projection in Natural Language

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In addition to the physiological alterations that occur relatively predictably during pregnancy, psychological transformations also occur at the same time. The baby is developing, but so are a mother's fears and imaginations about her unborn child. Such imaginations about the unborn child and parenting methods are sure to evoke a range of emotions, including happiness, excitement, curiosity, anxiety, frustration, and maybe depression. Social comparison and intense emotional expression are two of the numerous opportunities offered by social networking platforms. Social comparison is a personality characteristic. Individuals who are highly social comparison-oriented make excessive social comparisons and are more affected by the outcomes. Social comparisons can be done intentionally, but more frequently they are done involuntarily. Social networking sites play a key role in the contemporary digital age in terms of personal experience sharing and constructive debate. However, research has found that the need for social comparison increases at times of stress, uncertainty, or adjustment. As a result, in unexpected and upsetting settings like pregnancy, social comparison may become more significant. The social comparison, psychology, and linguistics aspects of pregnancy had all previously been the subject of very few research, however, they had been done so independently. The objective of this research is to jointly comprehend the social, psychological, and linguistic aspects of pregnancy. In this research, a survey that was published on Reddit communities collected responses based on three questionnaires (Iowa-Netherlands Comparison Orientation Measure, Gratitude During Pregnancy Scale, and Tilburg Pregnancy Distress Scale), as well as a textual question on using social media while being pregnant. A correlation and linear regression analysis were used in this study to investigate the association between the three sub-scales and the selected LIWC (Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count) categories. In conclusion, considering the general inadequacy of information in the domain of pregnancy care and the imminent transition to digital care, the findings of this study could make a significant contribution to social and psychological research.