Are people who use Facebook more likely to use drugs? Am I addicted to coffee because of my parents? Do women looking to cheat sext more than men looking to cheat? The answers to all these questions were derived from the same methodology: non-scientific studies! And now, thanks to a silly Twitter study, we've learned that people (who use Twitter) are happiest at breakfast time.
The study of twitterists and their twitting moods will be published in the journal Science. Cornell University sociologists used text software to detect the presence of positive words and icons (ie, “awesome,” “agree,” " :) ") and negative ones (“annoy,” “afraid,” " :( ") in 509 million tweets from 2.4 million users in 84 different countries over a two-year period. Researchers were very psyched to study people's emoticons: "There’s just a torrent of new digital data coming into the field, and it’s transforming the social sciences, creating new lenses to look at all sorts of behaviors,” said Peter Sheridan Dodds, a researcher at the University of Vermont who was not involved in the new research.
Among the conclusions from the study: people's moods peaked early in the day (around 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.), but then began to dip in mid-morning (around the time most people start workdays), with a low around 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. Another mood peak occurred around midnight, which was then followed by a "sharp drop in NA (negative affect, including distress, fear, anger, guilt, and disgust) during the overnight hours." People’s overall mood was lowest on Monday afternoons through Tuesday, and peaked unsurprisingly on Saturday and Sunday.
The study doesn't take into account that beautiful people are happier than ugly people, so we're not sure whether that would skewer the results. But we all assume only beautiful people use Twitter, right?