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Social contagion


Read this article in today's New York Times: Is happiness catching?

James H Fowler and Nicholas A Christakis have published quite a few papers on social networking and how it affects the behaviour of people. A couple of papers describe the patterns in gain of weight and smoking habits of residents of a town Framingham during the period of 30 years. Their findings suggest that these changes do not occur randomly but in clusters or groups of people who are socially connected. I was not surprised to learn that smoking habits spread in this manner. But I had not thought the same way regarding some other parameters that they studied including "happiness". They report that unhappiness or happiness extends upto three degrees of separation, e.g. friends of one's friends' friends and this part of their work has been questioned by many in the same field. I would like to read some of their papers which have been published in high impact journals like NEJM and BMJ.

I find such research work which deals with social behaviour and psychology very exciting. Will see if I can get involved in any similar project sometime in future. But my current research work doesn't provide me with any expertise which will be required for this slightly distant field. :(

Comments

zilcogol said…
Lets see...
You say pschology and social behaviour interests you... well if it really does and you are any good at it... please tell me "what made me /why have i" commented on your last three posts?
Shazia said…
The first comment you wrote was in reply to my comment on Jammy's blog. And then may be you read some other recent posts on my blog and you either liked them or found them interesting, that made you write the other two comments. Am i right? Or do you have some ulterior motives? Tell me...
And yes, I still don't know whether you are a guy or a girl. :)
zilcogol said…
Interesting!

I am a guy.
I hope thats ok?
zilcogol said…
"IF" I have/had ulterior motives... You would not be the first one I would confide in.
dreamer said…
The thing about these researches though is that they are followed by other researches which contradict them

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