#AceNewsDesk – Sept.04: The filter you choose on Instagram can reveal if you’re depressed
Editing a photo on Instagram doesn’t just enhance its colour and appeal; the filter you choose can reveal your mood.
A new study conducted by Andrew Reece of Harvard University and Chris Danforth of the University of Vermont, found that you can detect depression by analysing a person’s Instagram feed.
After collecting survey information and 43,950 Instagram photos from 166 volunteers recruited through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, the researchers found that people who are depressed had pictures that were “bluer, grayer and darker.”
PHOTO: WASHINGTON POST
Depressed participants in the study were also more likely to post more frequently and to apply more and different types of Instagram filters.
What was the most popular filter for people who are depressed? Inkwell, which turns colour photos into black and white.
“Healthy” participants — people the study defined as not being depressed — favoured the Valencia filter, which, the study said, “lightens the tint of photos.”
The content of photos may also indicate depression.
“Fewer faces may be an oblique indicator that depressed users interact in smaller social settings, which would be in accordance with research linking depression to reduced social interactivity,” wrote Reece and Danforth.
Take these findings with a grain of salt, however, since they have yet to be independently reviewed and the volunteers were crowd-sourced through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, which tends to attract people with a lot of free time on their hands.
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