What is it about?

This study shows that people who use words related to suicide were more likely to be connected to one another than random chance. It also shows that patterns of this kind can be exploited to meaningfully increase how many people people at risk for suicide are detected during suicide risk screenings - on both local and large scales.

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Why is it important?

To our knowledge this is the largest study of the real-time clustering of any kind suicide-related behavior. It also shows how that clustering could actually be an advantage for preventing suicides - if birds of a feather flock together, then relatively simple mathematical models can be used to find the whole flock.


This work has changed the way that I, Ian Cero, think about the prevention of suicide and other loss of life on large scales. When I began I expected to focus my on how to prevent suicide clustering. Instead, I found a way to utilize that clustering to make prevention efforts even better.

Dr. Ian Cero
University of Rochester

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Assortativity of suicide-related posting on social media., American Psychologist, June 2019, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/amp0000477.
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