Australia's emotional response to 'Yes' result revealed
Published: 16 November, 2017
Large spikes in joy recorded as Australians take to Twitter to react to the marriage equality result.
Joy and surprise were Australia’s leading emotions following the marriage equality survey result, new analysis by the Black Dog Institute shows.
Using the Twitter stream analysis tool ‘We Feel’ – developed by Black Dog Institute and the CSIRO – Black Dog Institute researchers measured real-time reactions in the lead-up to and following the 10am Wednesday announcement to map the collective national mood.
Key findings include:
- Three times as many Australians took to Twitter to react to the result than a typical day
- Joy-related tweets increased by over 190% in the hour following the ‘yes’ result
- Fear-related tweets peaked in the hours before the announcement before dropping by almost two-thirds
- At 10am Wednesday, 68.3% of all tweets expressed joy, compared to 13.1% expressing sadness
“All of the emotions we monitor for rose after 10am but joy was overwhelmingly the predominate emotion, increasing 200% compared to an average day,” said Dr Tjeerd Boonstra from Black Dog Institute’s Digital Dog team.
“These findings reveal important clues about Australian’s emotional wellbeing in light of the survey, and the flurry of activity shows this was a hugely important occasion that people were really engaged with.”
We Feel can be accessed at http://wefeel.csiro.au
About We Feel
We Feel is a ground-breaking program developed by the Black Dog Institute and CSIRO in 2014, with support from Amazon Web Services and GNIP. Analysing emotional expression via Twitter, We Feel represents the world’s first scientific foray into understanding how social media can be used to detect poor mental health and capture emotional trends over time and place.
The tool gives researchers unprecedented access to monitor population sentiment, scanning for 600 specific words in a stream of approximately 27 million tweets per day and categorising them in a hierarchy of emotions including love, joy, surprise, anger, sadness and fear.
A previous study presenting world-first results from We Feel analysis globally found that counties with a high number of tweets using the words ‘envy’, ‘sadness’ or ‘shame’ had higher national burdens of anxiety, while countries expressing with low levels of ‘affection’, ‘rage’ or ‘neglect’ had higher suicide rates.
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