Yes, you read that correctly. A recent press release from Northeastern University in Boston revealed a project to chart how happy Americans are based on their twitter posts.
We had to share this; it is such an excellent result of mixing social media and neuroscience.
Like the press release mentions, using Twitter as a way to capture the feeling of a moment in time is raw, real, and possible. It is a researcher’s goldmine, and it can help answer a lot of different questions, including the happiness quotient of Americans.
(Shameless plug: you should follow us on twitter: exploringmind. And while you’re at it, like us on facebook, too. We will be posting exclusive content, as well as contests, news, and general science research, etc.)
Researchers compiled a pool of 300 million tweets that were captured from 2006-2009. They did not include posts from outside the US or from tweeters who did not post their exact city on their profiles. All of these tweets were posted publicly.
The team, from Northeastern and Harvard, rated each tweet by looking for key words to determine the mood of the posts.
Some of the keywords included ‘funeral’ and ‘death’ for unhappy words, and ‘love’ and paradise’ for happy key words, among others.
The results are awesome – and you can read about them on a colored map or check out a time lapse video that shows how tweeters represent happiness in a 24 hour period. Good stuff!
Check it out in full: http://www.ccs.neu.edu/news/mood_maps.html
As always, comment below and let us know what you think. Check out your own twitter posts, too. Do your posts reflect how you feel at any given moment?