Monday, December 15, 2008

Happiness: It Really Is Contagious

Dynamic spread of happiness in a large social network: longitudinal analysis over 20 years in the Framingham Heart Study

The paper on BMJ that has received the widest coverage this week shows that happiness is contagious and can spread from person to person. It is the most read article on our website this week, with 12,327 viewers (see also below). Authors James H Fowler and Nicholas A Christakis followed 4739 participants from 1983 to 2003. By studying social networks, the researchers found that happy people are more likely to be connected to other happy people. They also found that people at the centre of their social network were more likely to be happy than those on the periphery of it.

-Fiona Godlee
Editor, BMJ

NPR Story: Happiness: It Really Is Contagious

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