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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  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • One of the highest-scoring outputs from this source (#1 of 39,512)
  • 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)

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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, Kramer AD, Guillory JE, Hancock JT

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.

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Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 1 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 1 100%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Arts and Humanities 1 100%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 5999. 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 23 August 2016.
All research outputs
#7
of 5,527,654 outputs
Outputs from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
#1
of 39,512 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#1
of 132,665 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
#1
of 927 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 5,527,654 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 39,512 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 20.5. 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 132,665 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 927 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.