Hedonometer Measures Online Happiness

Everyone would like to be happier. Whether they are struggling to embrace the positive elements of their life or savour precious moments it can be difficult to gage someone’s happiness except through to-the-point statements. Researchers at the University of Vermont have developed software they are calling Hedonometer to measure global happiness based on Twitter expressions.

What is Hedonometer?

The platform gleans information submitted on Twitter in English to assess emotional material and determine the level of happiness of its users. To quantify the happiness of captured information words are given a rating of emotion with one being sad and nine being happy. When cultivated content is assessed Hedonometer is able to calculate the total happiness score.

Initial assessments took place by using Twitter’s Gardenhose feed which is a random sampling of 50 million messages posted to the service. Everyday approximately 100 million words are categorised and awarded an aggregate happiness score. The system employs a method that has a highly tuned filtering system that removes neutral words or profanities which can cause ambiguity in the sadness / happiness paradigm.

Purpose of Hedonometer

Appraising the veritable happiness on a given day of Twitter postings can seem like intellectual nonsense to some. However, the researchers at Vermont University argue that “The aim is to provide an alternative measure of population level well-being, to complement more traditional measure like GDP and Consumer Confidence. Policy makers should be aware of how well people are doing, not just how they are producing. Our measure isn’t attempting to infer each individual’s emotional state, but rather population level mood, much like a thermometer.”(

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