The Happiest Character on Seinfeld was …

Happiness by Season

... Kramer! Ohhh YEAHHHHH! Whether he was analyzing underwear performance ("My boys need a house!"), advising a friend on marriage ("Is it alright if I use the bathroom now?"), or unabashedly offering his honest opinion ("You just need a nose job!"), Jerry Seinfeld's awkwardly outspoken neighbor brought the funny. Inspired by writer Larry David's real-life neighbor Kenny … [Read more...]

Hedonometer 2.0: Measuring happiness and using word shifts

Word shift for Robin Williams's death

With our Hedonometer, we're measuring how a (very capable) individual might feel when reading a large text—a day's worth of tweets from New York City, the first chapter of Moby Dick, or the music lyrics from all UK pop songs released in 1983. We'll describe two fundamental pieces of the Hedonometer in this post: How our simple measure works; … [Read more...]

Hedonometer 2.0

Geography of Happiness for the US

Over the summer of 2014, we have worked very hard to bring many new pieces to our Hedonometer, and we're pleased to tell you about what we've done, and where we're going next. All along, one of the central goals for the Hedonometer has been to provide a new instrument for society's dashboard, one that measures population-level happiness in real time from … [Read more...]

How does movement influence your daily happiness?

Imagine commuting an hour to work, one way, grinding through miles of traffic to get from your suburban home to a desk job in the big city. Excited yet? Ok, now imagine that you lead a life of leisure traveling the world. You fly coast-to-coast to see a concert, soak in some culture, and drink fine wine. Does this lifestyle seem more appealing? Lets try to quantify the … [Read more...]

Now Published: The Geography of Happiness

Today we're pleased to announce that our article "The Geography of Happiness: Connecting Twitter sentiment and expression, demographics, and objective characteristics of place" has been officially published by PLoS ONE.  We wanted to tell you about one key piece we've added to the paper and an unusual new Twitter account we've created. After our three blog posts (which … [Read more...]

Now online: the Dow Jones Index of Happiness

Total excitement people: our website hedonometer.org has gone live.  We're measuring Twitter's happiness in real time.  Please check it out! If you're still here, here's the blurb from the site's about page: Happiness: It’s what most people say they want. So how do we know how happy people are? You can’t improve or understand what you can’t measure. In a blow to happiness, … [Read more...]

The Twitter Diet

How does food (or talking about food online) relate to how happy you are? This is part 3 of our series on the Geography of Happiness. Previously we've looked at how happiness varies across the United States (as measured from word frequencies in geotagged tweets), and then at how different socioeconomic factors relate to variations in happiness. Now we focus in on one particular … [Read more...]

What makes a city happy?

Welcome back, onehappybird watchers! Wow, what a crazy week of coverage of our post about how happiness varies by city and state across the United States. Many, many people read, shared, and commented on the post, for which we are grateful. For the detailed explanation of the results, check out the full paper we recently submitted to PLoS ONE. A number of readers wondered how … [Read more...]

Where is the happiest city in the USA?

(Update: this work is now published at PLoS ONE) Is Disneyland really the happiest place on Earth?* How happy is the city you live in? We have already seen how the hedonometer can be used to find the happiest street corner in New York City, now it's time to let it loose on the entire United States. We plotted over 10 million geotagged tweets from 2011 (all our results are in … [Read more...]

The Daily Unraveling of the Human Mind

Each morning we find ourselves in wide flung arms of drowsy possibilites. Cradled by the warm embrace of our beds, we begin our day, rebooted and rejuvenated. Having not eaten for a full eight hours, we can enjoy a guilt free breakfast, setting a blissful tone for the day. Last night's dreams of victory and triumph bolster our delusions of adequacy, preparing us to surmount … [Read more...]

If you’re happy and we know it … are your friends?

Do your friends influence your behavior?  Of course they do.  But it's hard to actually measure their influence.  Social contagion is difficult to distinguish from homophily, the tendency we have to seek relationships with people like ourselves. In response to the "happiness is contagious" phenomenon promoted by Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler, we here at onehappybird … [Read more...]

Question: Where is the happiest place in New York City?

Possible answers: Immediately adjacent to any hot dog stand. Madison Square Garden during moments of Linsanity. Tim Tebow's new apartment building. No really though, let's measure some stuff. Facts: (1) New York City is the most populous city in the US and (2) Manhattan streets are arranged on a rectangular grid. We have already seen how cities, airports, and even streets … [Read more...]

Does QWERTY Affect Happiness?

Last week, news broke of a paper published in the Psychonomic Bulletin and Review by Kyle Jasmin and Daniel Casasanto claiming to observe a positive relationship between the "right-handedness" of a word and its emotional valence. This is being called the 'QWERTY effect'. (You may recall that 'valence' is psych-speak for 'happiness' associated with words.  What I called … [Read more...]

Hedonometrics

Our paper "Temporal Patterns of Happiness and Information in a Global Social Network: Hedonometrics and Twitter" appears in PLoS ONE this week. Their blog encourages you to tweet for the sake of science! Among other findings, in this paper we demonstrate that human ratings of the happiness of an individual word correlate very strongly with the average happiness of the words … [Read more...]

The Happiest Distribution

Do you laugh within your tweets? e.g. hahaha!!!  Here we show the number of times these different laugh species appear in tweets as a function of how many ha's they contain.  A few observations: Longer laughs are less frequent, and the frequency decays at a constant rate. We're plotting on logarithmic axes, the black line has a slope of -5 and appears to match the data over … [Read more...]

Happy and we know it

Science Magazine published a piece today framing twitter as a laboratory for research, Social Scientists Wade Into The Tweet Stream, including the above figure showing our hedonometer's measure of happiness in 2011 as a function of day. Dodds was also interviewed by Science for their weekly podcast, and by Benedict Carey for a New York Times piece, Happy and You Know It? So Are … [Read more...]

Positivity of the English language

By analyzing a rather large collection of words (a good fraction of a trillion) we extracted from the New York Times, music lyrics, the Google Books project, and Twitter, we've found that English is inherently positive. The manuscript is here, and some early press from Wired is here. Abstract: Within the last million years, human language has emerged and evolved as a … [Read more...]

Tweets and happiness.

Below is our first treatment of oodles of Twitter data, searching for basic patterns, happiness, and information levels. On the left, we have strong evidence that people really do tweet about what's going on in their lives right now, at least food-wise. The paper: Temporal patterns of happiness and information in a global social network: Hedonometrics and … [Read more...]