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Jadrian Wooten (left) and Ben Smith created a software program that analyzed confident tweets. Photo courtesy of Washington State University.

Here’s a way to get more Twitter followers: Exude confidence.

That’s the finding from a study done by a pair of doctoral candidates in economics at Washington State University who analyzed more than one billion tweets during the 2012 baseball playoffs and the 2013 Super Bowl.

Jadrian Wooten and Ben Smith created a software program that looked at that both professional pundits with verified Twitter accounts and amateurs with some sports expertise. Then, they analyzed tweets that had predicting words like “beat,” and matched those against predicting tweets with stronger, more confident words like “destroy,” “vanquish,” or “annihilate.”

The findings: Professional pundits and amateurs who correctly picked every game of the baseball playoffs and World Series saw an increase of 3-to-7 percent in followers.

But those who simply had tweets with those confident words — and not necessarily were accurate — would see a 17-to-20 percent spike in follower count.

The takeaway from their research, the grad students say, is that people crave certainty, even if it may be inaccurate. So there you have it: If you want more Twitter followers, start tweeting like a psychic.

Previously on GeekWire: Prediction guru Nate Silver: The Seahawks are going to the Super Bowl … Report: Teens leave Facebook for Twitter, because they want less drama

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