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April 7, 2017
Q. Here's one for all you Twitterers out there: On what day of the week and at what time of day are your words likely to be positive? When might they be more negative?
A. The answer rests with “big data” and “small science,” that can be done with pen and paper rather than fancy equipment and a big budget, say David G. Myers and C. Nathan Dewall in “Exploring Psychology.” Employing new technologies, such as smart-phone apps, body-worn sensors and social media, researchers use “big data” naturalistic observation to freely track people's location, activities and opinions. Imagine for a moment the data pouring in from the billions of people on Facebook, Twitter and Google. “One research team studied the ups and downs of human moods by counting positive and negative words in 504 million Twitter messages from 84 countries.” Perhaps not surprisingly, they found that people seem happier on weekends, shortly after arising and in the evening, with positive posts highest late Saturday night. Positive posts were lowest on Tuesday afternoons.
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