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Anger, disgust and fear as happiness index for South Africa show drop far below average

Neelam Rahim – neelam@radioislam.co.za

4 minute read
20 September 2022
21:40 CAT

The Happiness Index for South Africa drops below average, indicating a nation’s anger, disgust and fear as our electricity crisis deepens. The Happiness Index was developed in 2019 by well-being economists Professor Talita Greyling at the University of Johannesburg and Dr Stephanié Rossouw of the Auckland University of Technology. Using sentiment analysis in South Africa, they developed an indicator that can measure happiness in real time. And currently, we have a nation that is not happy.

Joined in discussion with Radio Islam International, Talita Greyling said in this instance, a look as taken at the ‘satisfaction of one’s life which is an economic subjected measure at the quality of life.

According to Prof Talita, this is measured by the extraction of the life of tweets, followed by sentiment analysis, specifically natural language processing, which then can code the sentiment and the emotions captured in those tweets.

She said the noise from the data could also be highlighted.

“The use of different algorithms can than evaluate the well-being of people in the nation,” she added.

The analysis is based exclusively on Twitter as that is the access had. The data is then validated with other social media, including Google streams and others.

Meanwhile, on social media platforms like Instagram, people may tend to exaggerate their level of happiness in an attempt to show a better version of their life than it is.

According to Prof Talita, when conducting calculations, these biases must be considered and built into the data, which has to be adjusted accordingly.

She said the idea of bias could be found by using service data.

“Data is never precise but rather an estimation, but we can validate the trends and make certain adjustments.”

South Africa is not happy as the average, and Prof Talita told Radio Islam that considering the last week’s load shedding is the main complaint. But also some reflection on many concerns surrounding employment, the high levels of poverty and the matrics not being able to study without light in the evening following worries about education and health. In general, a concern about the situation in South Africa is in the moment.

Listen below to the interview with Moulana Sulaimaan Ravat and Professor Talita Greyling on Radio Islam’s podcast.





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