800 million tweets reveal patterns of human thinking throughout the day
The scientists undertook a 4-year analysis of 800 million Twitter posts across 54 of UK’s largest cities, Science Daily reported. The study was conducted by a group of researchers from the University of Bristol.
Researchers Nello Cristianini and Stafford Lightman reviewed what kind of content people tend to share with others on the Internet and discovered that it really depends on the time of the day.
Scientists noticed that our language isn’t the same when we type tweets at 7 am as compared to 7 pm comments.
The words we use to express feelings and share information with other people attest to changes in neural activity and emotional state of being, scientists believe.
Every time of the day has its own pattern, so our cognitive behavior can be quite predictable. The scientists believe it’s related to the level of our hormones and circadian rhythms. The circadian clock creates cyclical fluctuation in the intensity of various biological processes associated with the change of day and night. This particular mechanism in humans has recently became a popular area of research and even scored a Nobel Prize.
Cristianini, who’s an expert in artificial intelligence, stated that analysis of Internet content may be very helpful when we want to review large samples of actual data. Social and biological sciences can benefit from such information and make the most of it in future works.
How your brain works depends on the time of the day
The group of researchers managed to found 2 main factors explaining behavioral changes throughout 24-hour periods.
The first one was distinctly revealed in the early morning. Around 6 am people are prone to think about their achievements, make plans and be more logical and discreet than during the evening hours. People are more likely to consider positive and negative traits of their character in a very balanced, calm way. These morning thoughts are accompanied by the use of many nouns, prepositions and articles in Twitter posts. It’s actually unsurprising that people waking up early are happy and positive, they obviously went to bed not too late and have some spare time before work, to be able to post some thoughts on Twitter. If you think of all the sayings about people getting up early, this is what one would expect from 5-6 am risers.
The second pattern is noticeable at around 3-4 am in the morning, researchers pointed out. At this time of the day Internet users are ruminating about life and concerned with existential issues. Joy, carelessness and positive emotions are quite uncommon for 4 am tweets. Which is probably not surprising if we consider the fact that most people are sound asleep at this time of the early morning, and the ones who are awake apparently have some strange routine or unable to sleep properly.
Stafford Lightman, one of the authors of the study, said that almost every system of the human body depends on circadian rhythms. Even the slightest disorder of this rhythm can be the cause of problems with cardiovascular system, gastrointestinal tract and the mental state.
It would be interesting to consider 10 pm tweets during the working week as compared to Fridays and Saturdays when people tend to go out and have a drink or two. Do you reckon that researchers would be able to discover some differences there?