Thanksgiving’s popular FB words

Hey guys,

Want to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving :)! If you’re spending the long weekend on the east coast, stay warm through the snowstorm. But regardless of where you are, stay safe throughout the holiday.

As you prepare for that food coma from that huge turkey (you know it’s coming!), don’t forget to give thanks to people around you, especially those you care about. You shouldn’t need a special holiday to give thanks, but if you need one – ‘tis is the one!


pumpkin meme


So, back to business. Instead of writing about an actual Psychology theory, I’ve decided to show you some on-going Psychology research that I have been doing.



While I was at Penn, I was involved with the research at the Positive Psychology Center, specifically with the World Well-Being Project (WWBP).

We were analyzing people’s Facebook statuses to see what type of words people your age, your parents’ age (or your children’s age), or even your grandparents’ age post about.

We developed an interactive model; when you enter a word, it shows you the frequency that the word was used across all ages.


What words do people post?


In the spirit of Thanksgiving, here is what I searched today:






and “starbucks”sbux




So, what happened?

  • As you get older, you talk about “thanksgiving” more
  • If you’re 22, you talk about “spice” and “starbucks” (and Taylor Swift?!)…
  • Young kids are always enthusiastic about “pie”. But if you’re in college or a young professional, you don’t seem to talk about pie as much. Perhaps we’d be more likely to see young adults talk about pie around Thanksgiving… mmm pumpkin pie! *stomach grumbles* Clearly it’s time for Thanksgiving dinner.
  • This brings me to “pumpkin”: we use the word pumpkin more as we age, but with an inflexion around early 20s. Probably due to the pumpkin spice craze* going on right now!


Want to play around with this yourself? Choose any word(s) you like and enter it in the search box. Who knows what you’ll find!

Lastly, if you want to know more about my research with the Positive Psychology Center, let me know.

*Read about Nielsen’s findings on the current pumpkin craze:


Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Have a great holiday and make sure to empty those plates (and wine bottles, of course!)


Cheers to pumpkin pies!



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