Thursday, 6 December 2012

What, really, is Moodscope?

December can be a tricky old month. Moodscope's stats show it's not necessarily the unhappiest time of year (I'm afraid that's still to come: January) but neither is it always the most uplifting. So over the next ten days I'm going to try and help. Not by pouring eggnog and warming up mince pies, but by giving you the inside scoop on how (and why) measuring, tracking and sharing your mood with Moodscope can in and of itself have a positive effect on your state of mind.

I'd like this to be a sharing process in which we'll all learn - me included. When the ten days are up, we'll return to the type of daily message content you're used to, but I'll be compiling these ten particular posts (and a selection of the comments which we hope to gather here on our Blogspot) in the form of a short e-book containing what the team and our wider community know about mood tracking with Moodscope. Contribute to the exchange if you can: please, at least, follow along over the next week and a half.

You may already be a regular Moodscope tracker, or perhaps you're not. Either way, I'll try to make sure you discover some helpful stuff. If you're not tracking regularly, please consider doing so. Take a look at the Moodscope Plus tools, too, to gain even more insight.

I reckon that a good place to start is with a few numbers. Does Moodscope actually work? What happens to the mood level of someone who measures, tracks and maybe shares his or her scores on a regular basis? Not surprisingly, we've got a great deal of data to play with - there are already over 1.2 million daily scores in our database, each with twenty associated adjective ratings (Attentive, Guilty, Enthusiastic etc).

So, with the caveat that ours is an analysis of data generated by people who voluntarily chose to use Moodscope, rather than being part of a randomised controlled trial, we've seen powerful effects with regular users (those who recorded a score at least five times a week).

Over the first 90 days, this group saw a relative increase of 35.9 per cent in Moodscope score, with the most rapid improvement in the first two weeks or so.

Mood scores continued increasing over a longer period, too - across 180 days, a relative increase of 50.2 per cent was seen.

These seem substantial changes. Both these groups used Moodscope without sharing scores with buddies, but those who DID share performed even better - I'll tell you about that in a day or two.

We don't, of course, know what other treatments these Moodscopers might have been getting at the same time (medication or therapy perhaps) but it certainly seems as though using Moodscope to measure and track your mood can lift it.

Helpful in December. No bad thing at any time of year, actually.

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