CollAgen: The Role of Linguistic Markers of Agency in Mobilizing Collective Action

Current project leader: Magdalena Formanowicz

Description: Unlike individual actions that people execute for their benefit, collective action is an action undertaken by individuals who act as psychological group members with the subjective goal of improving the situation of the entire group they identify with. It often arises from language, including passionate speeches, provocative and inspiring social media posts, or emotional stories by victims of moral injustice. Given that collective action is by definition goal and action-oriented, in this project we investigate the role of linguistic agency in the emergence and unfolding of collective action. Specifically, we are interested in whether collective action movements communicate through more agentic language and if so whether such communication strategy results in greater effectiveness in terms of evoking intentions to participate in collective action and actual participation.


  • Polish National Science Foundation Grant 2020/37/B/HS6/02587, The Role of Linguistic Markers of Agency in Mobilizing Collective Action (2021-2025).

Representative Publications:

  • Nikadon, J., Suitner, C., Erseghe, T., Dzanko, L., & Formanowicz, M. (2023, July 13). BERTAgent: The Development of a Novel Tool to Quantify Agency in Textual Data.
  • Formanowicz, M., Beneda, M., Witkowska, M., Nikadon, J., & Suitner, C. (2024). Mobilize is a verb: the use of verbs and concrete language is associated with authors’ and readers’ perceptions of a text’s action orientation and persuasiveness. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 1461672241238418. Open access link