It comes as no surprise to anyone who has gotten a glipms of this blog or my other works, that I love data! Not only do I love gathering it, I love making sense of numbers.
Number tell us something important. And quantifying the world can pinpoint us towards a more objective view of the world.
Of course there are flaws in data. To start off with only the most motivated individuals will answer, thus you already eliminate half of respondents before the survey even starts. The questions that are asked in most questionnaires can be misunderstood thus also misrepresented, and most often data is misread even by those who do the analysis as, frankly many researchers fish for results. As they say there are lies, damned lies and people who are horrible at reading statistics.
I myself prefer data triangulation. Observing, asking and testing.. Because let's face it, like Dr House once said, "everyone is a liar, people say one thing, do another and think a third"..
I am always in the hunt for good data that confirms or shatters my beliefs..
Lately I've spent a lot of time on social media and started to see an emotional pattern. Negativity and positivity fluctuate in almost a predictive matter across personalities and type of posts. So with doing a little research I found several studies which have been investigating this phenomenon and saw that researchers from Cornell University analyzed data from a half a billion users on Twitter and found that positive social media posts peek at breakfast and are lowest around 16.00.
I myself have the lowest of moods between 16-18. So I decided to use Facebooks new emoticon reactions to capture some data amongst my friends. because a) it would be a great way to test new ways to gather data straight trough Facebook instead of using surveys for single questions b) because I am genuinely interested about how positivity changes throughout the day in others.
I asked my friends the following for both positive and negative emotions:. I asked after the proposed peaks of positivity and negativity so that I would not affect the results and collected the answers after a day.
This is a fairly (or rather extremely) small study, but it seems to confirm observations from others, however, the peak being around noon (10-12). What strikes me the most interesting is 1) that far more people were interested in answering about feeling negative than feeling positive and 2) that those responding peak in negativity at breakfast, and not at noon as research from larger datasets suggest.
Of course nothing could be generalized upon such as small sample, but it is rather interesting to investigate further the dichotomy and what happens between waking up and noon that shifts the mood.
And for anyone feeling annoyed that I am using lines for non continous data instead of bars, well it's not a scientific paper, I can do what I please with my data :).
I would like to thank all of my friends who participated! You are the very reason I feel positive!
And according to my even smaller study on Twitter, we are each others umbrellas during a stormy day!