Can the general mood on Twitter provide a sense of how the stock market will perform? Science says yes! “An analysis of almost 10 million tweets from 2008 shows how they can be used to predict stock market movements up to 6 days in advance.” Indiana University’s Johan Bollen and fellow researchers decided to track the Twitterverse using an algorithm” called the Google-Profile of Mood States (GPOMS), [which] records the level of six states: happiness, kindness, alertness, sureness, vitality and calmness.”
One algorithm, called the Google-Profile of Mood States (GPOMS), records the level of six states: happiness, kindness, alertness, sureness, vitality and calmness.
The question that Bollen and co ask is whether any of these states correlates with stock market prices. After all, they say, it is not entirely beyond credence that the rise and fall of stock market prices is influenced by the public mood.
So these guys took 9.7 million tweets posted by 2.7 million tweeters between March and December 2008 and looked for correlations between the GPOMS indices and whether Dow Jones Industrial Average rose of fell each day.
Their extraordinary conclusion is that there really is a correlation between the Dow Jones Industrial Average and one of the GPOMS indices — calmness.
There’s a lot of Sciencey stuff in here, but I think the lesson is clear: We need to stay very calm when we tweet, and then the stock market will do well and companies will start hiring again and the credit spigot will reopen and we can all get on to whatever the next boom is. We can tweet our way out of recession. Let’s do it. (I would have used a couple of exclamation marks there but I want to appear serene.)