Researchers using data from Twitter, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Google Maps API have mapped the mood of our nation over a three-year span, based primarily on what we tweeted about during that time. A joint venture of scientists at Harvard and Northeastern universities, the study looked at 300 million tweets sent between September 2006 and August 2009. Here are some of the findings:
* Tweeters tend to be happiest early in the morning (around 6:00am) and later in the day (around 10:30-11:00pm). Moods dip to their lowest in the early afternoon, then slowly begin to rise again.
* Not surprisingly, weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) are the happiest days of the week. In fact, Sunday morning ranks the highest overall.
* Thursday — not Monday — sees the lowest dip, on average, of any of the days. Our collective mood bottoms out on Thursday evenings, apparently.
Tweets were scored against the Affective Norms for English Words (ANEW) word list to determine their overall “mood.” The researchers say they plan to continue their work into the future, with further breakdowns of weekday versus weekend moods.
More details can be found online at the study’s website: