Ever imagined if Twitter’s tweets can predict mood swings among people?
A new study of Twitter’s tweets has concluded that most people are in their best moods soon after waking up and just before bed, but at their worse during the day.
Brightest at the two ends of the day
Spanning a period of two years, the study looked at millions of tweets and found that people were in their best moods when they woke up. As the day progresses, their moods tend to worsen, but then brighten up soon before bed.
Conducted by researchers at Cornell University in New York, the study made a detailed survey of the tweets of around by 2.54 million individuals spread across 84 different countries. The total number of their tweets amounted to approximately half a billion!
The research was led by Scott Golder, a graduate student at Cornell University. The findings of the study have been published in the journal Science.
How they did it
How did the researchers do this? Golder teamed up with one of his peers to come up with a computer program that drew information from all Twitter accounts which were created in the period between February 2008 and April 2009. Each of these accounts had over four hundred messages which were scrutinized.
A text analysis program was then used to go over these tweets and figure out the type of language used and the time of the day when it was used.
A surprising finding made by the researchers is that the pattern of moods on weekdays was eerily similar to the pattern seen on weekends.
Once all the data had been gathered and scrutinized, the researchers confidently concluded that most people, irrespective of geographical location, were most cheerful early in the morning and late at night, but not as cheerful through the day.
They also found that most people took some time to get into a good mood on weekends, probably because they had been sleeping late.
A surprising finding made by the researchers is that the pattern of moods on weekdays was eerily similar to the pattern seen on weekends. The researchers conclude that the stresses of the day do not have as much an influence on people’s moods as do circadian rhythms and sleep cycles.
Apart from the findings related to mood, it was found that bacon was more popular than sausage, and that most people took seven hours to get drunk!
As fascinating as the findings may seem, some experts have cautioned that the study cannot be generalized to the entire population because it only looks at people who use Twitter, or people who are Internet-savvy at best.
Martin Seligman, a psychologist from the University of Pennsylvania, aptly commented that Indian farmers do not use Twitter.