Big Data and Wellbeing in the Arab World

  • Aamna Al-Shehhi
  • Ian GreyEmail author
  • Justin Thomas


The rapid and widespread usage of social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram has given rise to unprecedented amounts of user-generated data. This data contains expressions reflecting users thoughts, opinions and affective states. Systematic explorations of this type of data have begun to yield valuable information about a variety of psychological and cultural variables. To date however, very little of this research has been undertaken in the Arab world. It is important to extend this type of macro-level big data analysis across cultures and languages as each situation is likely to present different methodological challenges and to reveal findings particular to the sociocultural context. This chapter examines research—much of it our own—exploring subjective wellbeing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) using data from Twitter and explores the findings from cross-linguistic analysis of happiness (positive–negative affective patterns of language use) and other variables associated with subjective wellbeing in the region. Additionally, we explore temporal patterns of happiness observed in relation to Ramadan and other events of sociopolitical and religio–cultural significance. The UAE focus is discussed with reference to broader trends in data science, sentiment analysis and hedonometry.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Khalifa University of Science and TechnologyAbu DhabiUAE
  2. 2.School of Social SciencesLebanese American UniversityBeirutLebanon
  3. 3.Zayed UniversityAbu DhabiUAE

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