Depression Symptoms: Instagram Algorithm Could Detect Disorder Better Than Your Doctor

  • Depression Symptoms: Instagram Algorithm Could Detect Disorder Better Than Your Doctor

Depression Symptoms: Instagram Algorithm Could Detect Disorder Better Than Your Doctor

The researchers next developed a machine learning algorithm based on established studies and pitted it against volunteers to see who was better at identifying Instagram photos posted by depressed people.

It looked at a group of 166 people, suggesting that those who exhibit a healthy frame of mind identify bleak colors with negativity, and prefer to use brighter colors in their personal photos. And a general practitioner's unassisted diagnosis rate was still less reliable than the computer's analysis of color and filters and the frequency of faces in posts for depression identification.

The difference between photo filters healthy participants used in the study and what people with depression typically chose. As per the study, it was more likely for the people affected with depression to post images which included faces of people.

Researchers of a new study claimed that the way people choose to organize their social media profiles reflects better their personality than they might think. This compares, they say, with 40% correct in-person diagnosis of depression in the US.

Ultimately, using their observations about photo selection and filtering, the researchers created an algorithm that accurately determined if the user had depression 70 percent of the time.

To combat this, Instagram has instituted screens that pop up when people search for terms like "depression" or "cutting" that give options other than looking at the pictures.

Right photograph has higher Hue (bluer), lower Saturation (grayer), and lower Brightness (darker) than left photograph.

"This study is not yet a diagnostic test, not by a long shot", he said.

At the end of the study, researchers noted the photos' likes, the photographers' posting patterns, and the use of filters.

Do you have depression? Another example is that people with depression tend to avoid filters.

In addition, depressed users were more likely to get fewer likes on their posts.

What if you were feeling depressed, but didn't quite know it yet - would your depression still show up somehow in the photos you shared online?

Instagram photos can reveal whether someone is suffering from depression, according to a new study.

Danforth points out that while their research holds promise, the technology is still far from flawless.

One of the limitations of the research conducted by Danforth and Dr. Andrew Reece from Harvard University is that they had a small sample size due to people unwilling to share their information. Even so, the possibility that social media analytics may offer a means of getting help faster to people in need is important, and should be explored further.