The Mid-Afternoon Mood Slump Affects Most Twitter Users, Study Finds

We’re all chipper when we hop out of bed and start our morning routines, but as the mid-afternoon rolls around our mood gradually sours, says a new study which examined half a billion tweets over a two year period.

In one of the largest academic studies of its kind, researchers at Cornell University in New York state used Twitter to assess just how work, sleep and the amount of daylight we get affects our emotions. They looked at about half a billion tweets from 2.4 million Twitter users in 84 countries sent during a two year period, and found that most of us are moving along the same “mood curve” throughout the day.

Michael Macy, one of the study’s authors, explains:

“We found a very similar pattern in India, Africa, Europe, the UK, Canada, North America, Australia, New Zealand. The patterns are very, very similar even though all those cultures are different.”

This pattern includes an up-beat feeling in the morning, around breakfast. Moods around the world then deteriorate as the day wanes, but often rebound in the evenings.

And, before you say that the whole tweeting world is simply doing work that makes them more and more disgruntled as the day progresses, the researchers found the same pattern on weekends in most cultures examined (albeit usually beginning about two hours later, likely due to people sleeping in).

If you’re interested in playing with this massive amount of data that the researchers have collected, you can visit the website which one of the grad students working on the paper created. It allows anyone to enter keywords and see the results in graphical form.

(Image courtesy of Piotr Marcinski via Shutterstock)

Publish date: September 29, 2011 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT