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This seems pretty intuitive to me. I don't need this paper to know that depressed people post darker pictures. But it is kind of interesting to see this 'formalized'

Also, I think detecting depression premtively via social media is a terrifying idea.

Well I was skeptical, wondering if maybe people posted darker / grayer images because of where they live; so seasonal affective depression (SAD) was causing the depression, not that depression was swaying people's filter choices. However this study seems to account for that causation (I only skimmed it quickly):

"We also checked metadata to assess whether an Instagram­ provided filter was applied to alter the appearance of a photograph."


"A closer look at filter usage in depressed versus healthy participants provided additional texture. Instagram filters were used differently by depressed and healthy individuals. In particular, depressed participants were less likely than healthy participants to use any filters at all. When depressed participants did employ filters, they most disproportionately favored the “Inkwell” filter, which converts color photographs to black­ and­ white images. Conversely, healthy participants most disproportionately favored the Valencia filter, which lightens the tint of photos."

> Also, I think detecting depression premtively via social media is a terrifying idea.

Yeah, they also called their model "Pre­-diagnosis". :)

That doesn't account for editing outside of Instagram, though, which many people do exclusively.

You certainly do need this paper because saying "I have a hunch" without supporting it with anything does not further discourse and it definitely is not actionable.

It's more than just 'I have a hunch' - I'm sure there are studies that show depressed people prefer darker colors. For example I found this after a quick search for "colors and depression"[0] and there are many more like it. Why wouldn't that carry over to Instagram too?

[0] http://www.academia.edu/3880952/RELATIONSHIP_BETWEEN_COLOR_A...

You need to prove that it carries over to social media in a meaningful manner.


You support "I don't need this study" with prior studies.

It's very very important for even intuitive things to be backed by research.

Very true, though on the other hand, we might have finally discovered an actual useful side of this "social media".

When I said I was skeptical, it wasn't about the concept or theses per se. It was that the study would be conducted well and seem solid, versus being attention-grabbing... which sadly all too much "science" lately is.

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