Nerval's Lobster writes: "If you live in Hawaii, congratulations: according to a new study by researchers at the University of Vermont, you live in the happiest state in the union—at least as far as Twitter sentiment is concerned. (Hat tip to The Atlantic for posting about the research.) The researchers—affiliated with the University’s Department of Mathematics & Statistics, Complex Systems Center, Computational Story Lab, and Advanced Computing Core—collected 10 million geo-tagged Tweets from 373 urban areas across the United States in 2011 and ran them through a system designed to tag each on a scale from 1 (sad) to 9 (happy). According to the study, the five happiest states include Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, Utah and Vermont; the five saddest are Louisiana, Mississippi, Maryland, Delaware and Georgia. In general, the West and Northeast seemed much happier than the Mid-Atlantic and South—with the exception of Florida, which shaded “happier” than many of the surrounding states. While the researchers admitted their study’s limitations, there are certainly a lot of opportunities for refining the model: for example, if Hawaii’s status as a vacation state affects its rate of “happy” Tweets, or if incorporating languages other than English into the dataset would affect the ultimate results."
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