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PLoS One. 2014 Mar 12;9(3):e90315. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0090315. eCollection 2014.

Detecting emotional contagion in massive social networks.

Author information

1
Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, University of California San Diego, San Diego, California, United States of America.
2
Political Science Department, University of California San Diego, San Diego, California, United States of America.
3
Facebook Inc., Menlo Park, California, United States of America.
4
Department of Sociology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, United States of America; Department of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, United States of America.
5
Political Science Department, University of California San Diego, San Diego, California, United States of America; Medical Genetics Division, School of Medicine, University of California San Diego, San Diego, California, United States of America.

Abstract

Happiness and other emotions spread between people in direct contact, but it is unclear whether massive online social networks also contribute to this spread. Here, we elaborate a novel method for measuring the contagion of emotional expression. With data from millions of Facebook users, we show that rainfall directly influences the emotional content of their status messages, and it also affects the status messages of friends in other cities who are not experiencing rainfall. For every one person affected directly, rainfall alters the emotional expression of about one to two other people, suggesting that online social networks may magnify the intensity of global emotional synchrony.

PMID:
24621792
PMCID:
PMC3951248
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0090315
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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