University of Hertfordshire

Mining Valence, arousal, and Dominance - Possibilities for detecting burnout and productivity?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

  • Mika Mäntylä
  • Bram Adams
  • Giuseppe Destefanis
  • Daniel Graziotin
  • Marco Ortu
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Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 13th Working Conference on Mining Software Repositories, MSR 2016
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781450341868
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2016
Event13th Working Conference on Mining Software Repositories, MSR 2016 - Austin, United States
Duration: 14 May 201615 May 2016


Conference13th Working Conference on Mining Software Repositories, MSR 2016
CountryUnited States


Similar to other industries, the software engineering domain is plagued by psychological diseases such as burnout, which lead developers to lose interest, exhibit lower activity and/or feel powerless. Prevention is essential for such diseases, which in turn requires early identification of symptoms. The emotional dimensions of Valence, Arousal and Dominance (VAD) are able to derive a person's interest (attraction), level of activation and perceived level of control for a particular situation from textual communication, such as emails. As an initial step towards identifying symptoms of productivity loss in software engineering, this paper explores the VAD metrics and their properties on 700,000 Jira issue reports containing over 2,000,000 comments, since issue reports keep track of a developer's progress on addressing bugs or new features. Using a general-purpose lexicon of 14,000 English words with known VAD scores, our results show that issue reports of different type (e.g., Feature Request vs. Bug) have a fair variation of Valence, while increase in issue priority (e.g., from Minor to Critical) typically increases Arousal. Furthermore, we show that as an issue's resolution time increases, so does the arousal of the individual the issue is assigned to. Finally, the resolution of an issue increases valence, especially for the issue Reporter and for quickly addressed issues. The existence of such relations between VAD and issue report activities shows promise that text mining in the future could offer an alternative way for work health assessment surveys.

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