Research suggests Instagram posts can help diagnose depression.
A recent study has shown that Instagram users with a history of depression present the world differently.
The researchers Andrew G. Reece from Harvard University and Christopher M. Danforth from the University of Vermont asked each participant to take the CES-D questionnaire to identify which ones of them may have depression. Then, by the help of computer algorithms almost 44,000 Instagram photos were categorized to determine what characteristics may be associated with depression.
People who were depressed were more likely to: post bluer, darker, and grayer photos, post more frequently, have more comments on their Instagram posts, have fewer likes, post photos with human faces, show less of their face.
The results outperformed general practitioners’ average unassisted diagnostic success rate. They held even when the analysis was restricted to posts made before depressed individuals were first diagnosed.
In spite of the findings, the researchers claim the results speak more to the perspectives of the techniques. To get a real diagnosis of depression, you have to go to a qualified health professional.