by Tia Ghose, Senior Writer | February 22, 2013 12:02pm ET
The happiest city is Napa, Calif., at least according to an analysis of tweets on Twitter.
In a new study, University of Vermont mathematician Lewis Mitchell and his colleagues created a tool called the "hedonmeter," which collected 10 million tweets that had location data attached from 373 urban areas in the United States — nearly 10 percent of all of Twitter's 2011 posts with location data. They then broke them into individual words.
To figure out which words were happy, sad or neutral, the team used ratings that came from 10,000 users of a website called Mechanical Turk, who assessed 5,000 common words. Curse words and words like "hate" or "wrong" tended to be rated as sad words, while words such as "lol," "sleep" and "funny" were rated as happy. Here's what they found ...
Tia has interned at Science News, Wired.com, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and has written for the Center for Investigative Reporting, Scientific American, and ScienceNow. She has a master's degree in bioengineering from the University of Washington and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California Santa Cruz.