publications - articles

Reips, U.-D., & Garaizar, P. (2011). Mining Twitter: Microblogging as a source for psychological wisdom of the crowds. Behavior Research Methods, 43, 635-642. doi:10.3758/s13428-011-0116-6


Over the last few years, microblogging has gained prominence as a form of personal broadcasting media where information and opinion are mixed together without an established order, usually tightly linked with current reality. Location awareness and promptness provide researchers using the Internet with the opportunity to create “psychological landscapes” — that is, to detect differences and changes in voiced (twittered) emotions, cognitions, and behaviors. In our article, we present iScience Maps, a free Web service for researchers, available from and Technologically, the service is based on Twitter’s streaming and search application programming interfaces (APIs), accessed through several PHP libraries, and a JavaScript frontend. This service allows researchers to assess via Twitter the effect of specific events in different places as they are happening and to make comparisons between cities, regions, or countries regarding psychological states and their evolution in the course of an event. In a step-by-step example, it is shown how to replicate a study on affective and personality characteristics inferred from first names (Mehrabian & Piercy, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 19, 755–758 1993) by mining Twitter data with iScience Maps. Results from the original study are replicated in both world regions we tested (the western U.S. and the U.K./Ireland); we also discover base rate of names to be a confound that needs to be controlled for in future research.

more information about the iscience members: U.-D. Reips,