The Hedonometer Uses Social Media to Measure Global Happiness

Orfeas Lyras
May 1st 2013

Are you using Twitter? Then you might be measured as part of the world's happiness. A team of scientists from the University of Vermont and The MITRE Corporation have developed a tool to measure global happiness, the Hedonometer.

The Hedonometer is based on people’s online expressions, capitalizing on data-rich social media, and measuring how people present themselves to the outside world. Right now, this research is updated every 24 hours, but eventually it will be updated every minute. Soon the Hedonometer will draw on other data streams, like Google Trends, the New York Times, blogs, and broadcast news. It's already been used to measure the happiest and saddest American cities (Napa, California, and Beaumont, Texas, respectively) and will eventually provide real-time comparisons between cities' moods. Additionally, the Hedonometer will help to determine if small-scale events, such as the recent Boston bombings, have an impact on the global psyche.

The Hedonometer is just one more step to merging the technosphere with the biosphere. Check it out to see if the rest of the world is aligned with your feelings.

Photo via Phys.org

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Should men be able to give birth to children?


Joyce Nabuurs: To me this question seems to be a logical next step in the emancipation movement of the past century. More and more women entered the workspace, but the responsibility for pregnancy and childrearing remained female.

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