Monday, 03 Aug, 2009 Technology

Latest Invention: Software that Analyzes Happiness Level


The latest invention of researchers from Vermont is hedonometer, a device that can estimate the level of happiness. Peter Dodds and Chris Danforth were the ones who developed the software that gather sentences from different blogs and Tweets and then identifies the days that were the happiest and saddest throughout the last several years.

According to Peter Dodds, a scientist at the University of Vermont, the goal was to take advantage of the increasing popularity of blogs and Twitter and come up with a tool that would be able to estimate the emotional signal from a group of people. The staring point was the website that examines 2.3 million blogs, searching for sentences that start with the words "I feel" or "I am feeling". The words that followed were then rated on a scale from 1 to 9. Researchers managed to rank 1,034 words, with "triumphant" having the highest score of 8.87 and "hostage" the lowest - 2.20. By gathering 10 million sentences over that last few years, researchers estimated the daily level of happiness, reports Discovery News.

It wasn't a surprise when then found that the happiest days are the weekends and holidays. In general the happiest days of the last several years were the election day and the inauguration of US President Barack Obama. You can find more information about the happiest day and the like her at - please check the links at the bottom of the article. Using their latest invention, researchers found that during these two days people most often wrote sentences that contained the words "proud" and "pride". The software showed that the saddest days were the anniversaries of 9-11 and the death of pop star Michael Jackson.

Scientists applied their latest invention to Tweets to be able to estimate the level of happiness besides the United States (90 percent of all analyzed blogs were from the States). But there are some drawbacks in the software. If someone posts a message that says "I am not happy", it will identify it as a happy statement. Besides, the majority of users who write on blogs and Tweet are younger than the overall population

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