Researchers at Northeastern University in Boston have created a Twitter Mood Map to measure the moods of the nation.
Their research concluded people are happiest in the morning and evening, with contentment peaking on Sunday morning and dropping Thursday night. Twitter users also appeared gloomiest in the mid-afternoon, shifting to better moods in the evening.
A psychological word-rating system was used to analyze key words in approximately 300 million tweets as happy or sad. Researchers then created maps based on the location of the messages and the moods evoked.
Researchers admit the findings are not completely scientific—Twitter users tend to be tech-savvy, live in large cities, and represent only a fraction of the population. They believe, however, tweets can be used as a tool to provide real-time analysis of critical issues.
The map could also be useful to collect public opinion, as well as mobilize users in times of crisis.