Facebook conducted psychological experiments on 600,000 users

A group of researchers at Facebook ran an experiment on 600 000 users to see if their overall emotional state could be manipulated by the types of posts they see in their own feeds. So reading sad news worsens a person’s mood and joyful news increases their mood. It’s like a logical and understandable without research, but scientific evidence required. They managed to get it.

To make sure that there is a psychological effect, a team of researchers, led by Adam Kramer  at Facebook randomly selected  600 000 Facebook users for the research. They were divided into two groups, making sure that their posts are the same emotional coloring this week before the experiment. Then for one more week, researchers performed manipulations of the news feeds for each user. Part of positive texts was removed for one group, and negative part was removed for the other group. Then the program began to calculate the emotional characters of those participating in the experiment.

The study was successful. It found that, indeed, manipulating the algorithm to show more “positive” posts in your news feed will actually inspire you to write more “positive” posts yourself. So, for example, if you see a lot of people happy about their jobs then you’re more likely to post that you are happy about something in your life, too. In particular, the number of words that have a positive emotional in their texts for the week decreased from 5.26% to 5.13%. At the same time, the number of words increased from 5.24% to 5.29% by people who read good news, while those who read messages having a negative emotional - has decreased from 1.75% to 1.69%. Inaccuracy is in the area of ​​0.01%, so the results can be considered quite reliable. It is a remarkable fact for science.

In total, 3,000,000  messages were analyzed with more than 122 million words, of which 4 million are positive, and 1.8 million  - negative emotional coloring.

Users of the social media platform consented to be experimented on by developers and researchers when they signed the Terms and Conditions necessary to open a Facebook account.

The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences - the official publication of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), Xaker reports.

Views: 15