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Thu Jun 27, 2013, 12:55 PM

 

Twitter Culture: Atheist Tweets More Analytical, Christian Tweets Less Negative

By News Staff | June 26th 2013 01:01 PM

A computer analysis of nearly 2 million Tweets on the Twitter online social network revealed another divide in the religious culture war - while atheists engage in more analytical thinking, Christians use more positive words and fewer negative words.

To identify Christian and atheist Twitter users, the researchers studied the tweets of more than 16,000 followers of a few prominent Christian and atheist personalities on Twitter. They analyzed the tweets for their emotional content (the use of more positive or negative words), the frequency of words (such as "friend" and "brother" that are related to social processes, and the frequency of their use of words (such as "because" and "think" that are associated with an analytical thinking style.

Overall, tweets by Christians had more positive and less negative content than tweets by atheists, the researchers report. A less analytical thinking style among Christians and more frequent use of social words were correlated with the use of words indicating positive emotions, the researchers said. Christians also were more likely than atheists to tweet about their social relationships, the results found.

"Whether religious people experience more or less happiness is an important question in itself," the authors of the new analysis wrote. "But to truly understand how religion and happiness are related we must also understand why the two may be related."

http://www.science20.com/news_articles/twitter_culture_atheist_tweets_more_analytical_christian_tweets_less_negative-115544

The findings are reported in the journal Social Psychological & Personality Science. Reference: Ryan S. Ritter, Jesse Lee Preston, and Ivan Hernandez, 'Happy Tweets: Christians Are Happier, More Socially Connected, and Less Analytical Than Atheists on Twitter', doi: 10.1177/1948550613492345, June 18th, 2013

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Reply Twitter Culture: Atheist Tweets More Analytical, Christian Tweets Less Negative (Original post)
rug Jun 2013 OP
Politicalboi Jun 2013 #1
rug Jun 2013 #4
cbayer Jun 2013 #11
gcomeau Jun 2013 #2
rug Jun 2013 #3
gcomeau Jun 2013 #5
rug Jun 2013 #6
gcomeau Jun 2013 #10
rug Jun 2013 #14
gcomeau Jun 2013 #15
rug Jun 2013 #16
gcomeau Jun 2013 #17
rug Jun 2013 #18
gcomeau Jun 2013 #19
rug Jun 2013 #20
gcomeau Jun 2013 #21
rug Jun 2013 #22
gcomeau Jun 2013 #23
rug Jun 2013 #24
Neoma Jun 2013 #7
rug Jun 2013 #8
Neoma Jun 2013 #13
gcomeau Jun 2013 #12
cbayer Jun 2013 #9

Response to rug (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 01:02 PM

1. LOL!

 

Oh please. I haven't seen such hateful christians in my life. Was this study done YESTERDAY? I can only imagine the congrats the gay community got from christians. And if more old white christians could use twitter, they would win hands down.

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Response to Politicalboi (Reply #1)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 01:11 PM

4. Where?

 

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Response to Politicalboi (Reply #1)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 01:24 PM

11. Actually, there were a variety of reactions from believers on both sides of the issue.

Some were very positive and others not at all.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 01:03 PM

2. Isn't that just a longwinded way of saying...

 

..."Christians on twitter appear to follow the 'ignorance is bliss' guideline"?

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Response to gcomeau (Reply #2)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 01:10 PM

3. No, it isn't.

 

Neither is "Atheists post more negatively on twitter."

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Response to rug (Reply #3)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 01:13 PM

5. In what way isn't it then?

 

They said they post less analytically and more happily. What part of that isn't analogous to what I said?

And in what way is your own statement not accurate either?

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Response to gcomeau (Reply #5)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 01:18 PM

6. Read the language analysis more closely.

 

They analyzed the tweets for their emotional content (the use of more positive or negative words), the frequency of words (such as "friend" and "brother" that are related to social processes, and the frequency of their use of words (such as "because" and "think" that are associated with an analytical thinking style.


The statement about atheist posting is inaccurate because

Christians appear to be happier than atheists on Twitter, but the authors caution that the results are correlational and "this does not mean atheists are unhappy overall or doomed to be miserable,"


Happiness does not equal ignorance.

Analysis does not equal unhappiness.

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Response to rug (Reply #6)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 01:24 PM

10. Ok, I did.

 

I also read your summary. Neither of which impact my original statement... or even yours that you posted in return. Perhaps that's what *you* should read more carefully.

How about we start with yours since I would hope that understanding words you typed yourself shouldn't be a huge obstacle.

Starting with what you stated here:

"Analysis does not equal unhappiness."


Why quite right! It doesn't. But what you said last post was:


Neither is "Atheists post more negatively on twitter."


But that was a simple descriptive statement of what was contained in the article findings. They DO post more negatively on twitter. At least in the findings of this study.


Hopefully none of that was too difficult to follow, and if not then going back and reading what I originally said again should prove enlightening.

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Response to gcomeau (Reply #10)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 05:21 PM

14. Let me see if I understand you after plodding through your clumsy snark.

 

So, you say atheists do post more negatively than theists.

Ok. Far be it from me to argue.

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Response to rug (Reply #14)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 05:31 PM

15. No, the study says that.

 

You *did* read the study right? I mean you're the one that posted it...

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Response to gcomeau (Reply #15)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 05:57 PM

16. I did. Nowhere did it say 'Christians on twitter appear to follow the 'ignorance is bliss' guide'.

 

That is what started this spurious little subthread.

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Response to rug (Reply #16)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 06:10 PM

17. Yes. It did.

 

It said they were less thoughtful and analytical and that they were more "positive".

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Response to gcomeau (Reply #17)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 06:24 PM

18. It didn't in the least say they were less thoughtful.

 

That is a peculiar conclusion to draw from data suggesting they were less analytical.

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Response to rug (Reply #18)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 06:47 PM

19. Peculiar how exactly? -eom

 

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Response to gcomeau (Reply #19)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 07:03 PM

20. It requires a very narrow definition of thought.

 

It is much more than analysis alone.

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Response to rug (Reply #20)

Fri Jun 28, 2013, 12:59 PM

21. Yes, I'm aware that there are, shall we say...

 

...somewhat less than rigorous or analytical varieties of thought.

They are on display on the forums on a regular basis after all. Doesn't change my initial observation, I would hope the reason for that would be not too difficult to deduce. (Of course that would require analytical thought... so...)

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Response to gcomeau (Reply #21)

Fri Jun 28, 2013, 01:02 PM

22. I am also aware of the display of rigorous thought bound by preconceived notions.

 

It would be refreshing to see rigorous analysis applied to those preconceived notions.

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Response to rug (Reply #22)

Fri Jun 28, 2013, 01:04 PM

23. That would require...

 

...a proper understanding of what those were, as opposed to silly assumptions of what they were.

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Response to gcomeau (Reply #23)

Fri Jun 28, 2013, 01:05 PM

24. That would require an analysis of what you consider silly assumptions.

 

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Response to rug (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 01:20 PM

7. They also mostly tweet bible quotes as something that's supposed to be inspirational.

A friend of mine found Jesus and suddenly her Facebook page was full of little God quote pictures. What was it? 4 new pictures a day?

Plus my southern baptist missionary uncle who only joined twitter to quote the bible by. And all of my evangelical fundamentalist relatives I kept tabs on to see what bigoted opinion comes out of them. Bible, bible, bible quotes mostly though.

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Response to Neoma (Reply #7)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 01:23 PM

8. Mostly? I don't think that's the case with this study.

 

To identify Christian and atheist Twitter users, the researchers studied the tweets of more than 16,000 followers of a few prominent Christian and atheist personalities on Twitter.


I suspect their data is quite different from facebook posts.

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Response to rug (Reply #8)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 01:27 PM

13. Maybe so, but I'd be disappointed if they used the people who quotes a lot as part of the study.

Then the other question would be how many Christians were left out if they didn't?

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Response to Neoma (Reply #7)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 01:24 PM

12. I get that from some of my aunts... it's mind numbing. -eom

 

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Response to rug (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 01:23 PM

9. Well, that's kind of interesting but I wouldn't put much weight in it at all.

First off, the population that uses twitter is skewed and I would be very reluctant to draw any conclusions at all that generalize to christians or atheists.

Secondly, I think the link to community that they note may be the biggest difference. If this is indeed the case, than non-believers who engage in groups might not vary much.

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