Thursday, February 26, 2015

How to make a Maltese cross – insights from facebook

See below from PhD researcher here and lecturer at University of Malta Marie Briguglio. Intended to stimulate some ideas for a future study and not intended as a scientific study in itself. 

How to make a Maltese cross – insights from facebook

A question posted on a facebook status for two consecutive periods of 24 hours asked volunteers to “Think of your typical day. What instances reduce your well-being? “ and in a subsequent separate status to “Think of your typical day. What instances improve your well-being?" Responses (360 comments) were coded and aggregated. The exact comments were fed into Tagxedo ( to generate the word maps below. Over 95 percent of comments were received from respondents in Malta. No personal data was requested or used. Obvious biases pertaining to this data includes the fact that the participants are limited to people who are active in social media, able to read English and able to write. The responses themselves are likely skewed by social desirability bias and limited to contributions that respondents feel they can talk of publicly. Although participants were asked to “think of your answer before reading others” some social influence may have occurred. 

Within the limitations, key insights that emerge are:

· Social interactions (other people) are the key factor responsible both for stimulating well-being and for suppressing it. Over 30% of the comments received were of this nature;

· Pollution (litter, noise) and traffic is a key factor that suppresses well being, while the sun, the sea and the Maltese environment in general received strong mention as positive influences (18%),

· In a typical day, family and children are both a cause of well-being and a source of its reduction (14% of responses),

· Bad food, lack of exercise, sickness and pain as well as sedentary lifestyles, together with good food and exercise, together made up 9% of the contributions. Other influences mentions include the news, institutions and order.

· The influencers of well-being were similar in the negative and positive frame, albeit different words may be used (notably “kids” versus “children”);


Word Map 1 (blue): In a typical day, what instances reduce your well-being?
Word Map 2 (red): In a typical day, what instances improve your well-being?

1 comment:

@makeabetterone said...

A really interesting prompt for further thought experiments and reseach.

Its cheering to see the correlations between social interaction, physical activity, and stimulation/depression of people's sense of well-being appearing as prominently as they do, and echoing other studies that suggest the importance of such factors in adherence to exercise.