How negative emotions evolved during 2011 in the UK based on Twitter content analysis
(For a more formal report on this, please refer to Section 6.2 of my Ph.D. Thesis.)
2011 was an interesting year for many and obvious reasons. Well, this is my opinion. However, a year is perceived very differently by individuals and therefore, the mean tendencies in the population are of interest.
In this direction ‒ extracting emotional tendencies from the general population ‒, I have analysed Twitter content geolocated in the UK and have extracted affective (mood) scores using an approach which is presented in my Ph.D. Thesis. Four emotions have been considered, namely anger, fear, sadness and joy. In the attached plot, the scores of anger, fear and sadness have been merged and joy's scores have been subtracted from them. Red line is the exact extracted signal, whereas the black line is its smoothed version (using a 7-point moving average to derive a weekly tendency).
By observing this plot, one is in the position to extract the moments in the year 2011, where Twitter users have been "negatively" (in quotes as this is a matter of discussion) affected.
Results are interesting. By far the most emotionally intense period for the UK took place during August's riots. Amy Winehouse's death combined with A. Breivik's attacks in Norway came in the second place, whereas the third distinctive event were the earthquakes in Japan. Happiest moment of the year has been ‒ let me guess ‒ the Christmas day.
It is quite straight-forward to notice that people in the UK have been also affected by events emerged outside their country as well as that mainstream events such as Christmas, Helloween and 9/11 attract public interest and shape mood.