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Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks

Overview of attention for article published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, June 2014
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • One of the highest-scoring outputs from this source (#9 of 98,665)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (99th percentile)

Citations

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Readers on

mendeley
2455 Mendeley
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15 CiteULike
Title
Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks
Published in
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, June 2014
DOI 10.1073/pnas.1320040111
Pubmed ID
Authors

Adam D. I. Kramer, Jamie E. Guillory, Jeffrey T. Hancock

Abstract

Emotional states can be transferred to others via emotional contagion, leading people to experience the same emotions without their awareness. Emotional contagion is well established in laboratory experiments, with people transferring positive and negative emotions to others. Data from a large real-world social network, collected over a 20-y period suggests that longer-lasting moods (e.g., depression, happiness) can be transferred through networks [Fowler JH, Christakis NA (2008) BMJ 337:a2338], although the results are controversial. In an experiment with people who use Facebook, we test whether emotional contagion occurs outside of in-person interaction between individuals by reducing the amount of emotional content in the News Feed. When positive expressions were reduced, people produced fewer positive posts and more negative posts; when negative expressions were reduced, the opposite pattern occurred. These results indicate that emotions expressed by others on Facebook influence our own emotions, constituting experimental evidence for massive-scale contagion via social networks. This work also suggests that, in contrast to prevailing assumptions, in-person interaction and nonverbal cues are not strictly necessary for emotional contagion, and that the observation of others' positive experiences constitutes a positive experience for people.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 4,170 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 2,455 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 48 2%
United Kingdom 21 <1%
Spain 11 <1%
Brazil 11 <1%
Germany 10 <1%
Japan 9 <1%
France 5 <1%
Italy 5 <1%
Portugal 5 <1%
Other 46 2%
Unknown 2284 93%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 500 20%
Student > Master 357 15%
Student > Bachelor 331 13%
Researcher 261 11%
Student > Doctoral Student 122 5%
Other 495 20%
Unknown 389 16%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Psychology 434 18%
Social Sciences 407 17%
Computer Science 302 12%
Business, Management and Accounting 151 6%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 97 4%
Other 584 24%
Unknown 480 20%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 7974. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 19 January 2023.
All research outputs
#300
of 23,007,887 outputs
Outputs from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
#9
of 98,665 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#1
of 227,885 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
#1
of 949 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 23,007,887 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 98,665 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 37.1. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 227,885 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 949 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.