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Wednesday, February 15, 2017


Reposted from Harvard and University of Vermont researchers: Depressed Instagram users may share certain photo trends. Here's what the study's computer algorithm uncovered:

Fewer Faces

Sad people posted more faces on their feed than happy folks, but each photo had fewer faces and not necessarily because sad people had fewer friends. The depressed tend to use personal language including "I" and "me," so "something similar could explain the 'sad selfie' hypothesis," says author Andrew Reece, a psychology and computational science grad student at Harvard.

Drab Filters

Healthy 'grammers favored bright, warmer tones including reds and yellows, and the Valencia filter. Depressed posters preferred dark, cooler tones including blues and grays and the black-and-white Inkwell filter, regardless of whether others deemed the photo happy or sad. So hues may be more telling than smiles or puppies.

Lots of Comments

Bummed-out posters got fewer hearts but more words. The authors aren't sure why, but sad photos may elicit more comments since a "like" is often a sufficient reaction to a positive photo, while "comments can be questioning and concerned," which may be more fitting for negative images, says Reece.

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