By Carrie Zapka, SIOP Blogger
Social Scientists Wade Into the Tweet Stream, an article in the September 30, 2011 issue of Science, is a stimulating read (subscription required. Republished by University of Vermont here). The author shared recent studies that mined Twitter data for insights into human behavior.
Peter Dodds and colleagues from the University of Vermont, for example, applied a novel method to analyze years of tweets from around the world. The Twitter data suggest a global decay in mood, a decrease in “average happiness” level, which they determined by comparing the relative usage of common words associated with positive or negative moods. Their results indicate that the world is not as happy today as it was in 2009!