Connected Chapter 2

Chapter 2
When You Smile, The World Smiles With You
No Laughing Matter
In 1962 in Tanzania an epidemic of laughing spread through
many villages resulting in the closing of several schools
This was a “mass psychogenic illness” – also known as
“epidemic hysteria” and was traced to three teenage girls
Photo by Casey Lehman
Photo by Federia Olivieri
Photo by k-girl, Flikr
No Laughing Matter
“Emotional Stampedes” are common. Did you ever feel sick
after a friend complained of a stomach ache from the dinner you
both ate?
Photo by Angelo Juan Ramos
Photo from Nokes, Flikr
The Importance of Emotions
Emotions coordinate group
activity by:
• Communicating
• Facilitating interpersonal
• Synchronizing
• Preceded language as a form
of communication
Photo by Rebeka Ireland
Example: mother-infant pair bonding
Stop Mimicking Me!
Emotional Contagion spreads for two reasons:
1. We are biologically hardwired to outwardly mimic others
2. We benefit from adopting the inward state of others
Facial Feedback Theory: people imitate others’ facial
expressions and come to feel as they do (the path of signals is
from the muscles of the face to the brain)
Mirror Neuron: one system
in the human brain possibly
responsible for the
“catching of emotions”
Photo by Jennifer Morton
Emotional Contagion
• Most prevalent in networks with high transitivity
• Physical Proximity and face-to-face interactions are important
(Facial Feedback Theory)
• Women are affected in MPI epidemics more often
• more inclined to discuss symptoms
• better sense of smell (smell and emotion are both
regulated by the orbitofrontal cortex of the brain)
Photos by Gontzal
Garcia del Cano
and Diego Cupolo
Family Feelings
Experiment using beepers to record and track the emotional
states of family members
• The strongest path was from daughters to parents
• Parents had little affect on daughters
• Fathers had a significant affect on wives and sons
What this means…when a father returns grumpy from work the whole
household soon becomes miserable
If You Wanna Be Happy
Our friends and their friends and their friends affect our
happiness! (Three Degrees of Influence Rule)
• Happy and unhappy people cluster among themselves
• Unhappy people are on periphery of the network
Photo by Annika Bischof
If You Wanna Be Happy
• A person is 15% more likely to be happy if directly connected
to a happy person (1 degree)
• At 2 degrees 10% more likely to be happy
• At 3 degrees 6% more likely to be happy
• Each unhappy friend deceases the likelihood of happiness 7%
If You Wanna Be Happy
An increase of $10,000 of income per year yields only a 2%
increase chance in happiness. Compare that to a 15% chance
from a happy friend and a a 6-10% from someone you may
have never met, but to whom you are indirectly tied!
Photo by Andy Perkins
Photo by Minoria Hinds
Happiness, It’s in the Genes
We have a “set point” for personal happiness strongly
influenced by our genes
Long term happiness is affected by:
• 50% genes
• 10% circumstance (i.e. quality of life)
• 40% attitude (what you think and do)
Photo by Duncan Hull
Photo by Emily Faulk
Alone in the Crowd
Loneliness is a discrepancy between desire for connection and
actual connections--spreads according to the three degrees rule
Photo by Tom Woodward
Each extra friend reduces the frequency of loneliness by 2 days
per year (the average person feels lonely 48 days per year)

similar documents