Monday, March 23, 2015

Izadi's "Tweets can better predict heart disease rates than income, smoking and diabetes, study finds"

Elahe Izadi, writing for the Washington Post, did a report on this article by Eichstaedt et. al, (2015). The original research analyzed tweet content for hostility and noted the location of the tweet. Data analysis found a positive correlation between regions with lots of angry tweets and the likelihood of dying from a heart attack.

The authors of the study note that the median age of Twitter users is below that of the general population in the United States. Additionally, they did not use a within-subject research design. Instead, they argue that patterns in hostility in tweets reflect on underlying hostility of a given region.

An excellent example of data mining, health psychology, aggression, research design, etc. Also, another example of using Twitter, specifically, in order to engage in public health research (see this previous post detailing efforts to use Twitter to close down unsafe restaurants).