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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 (#1 of 44,869)
  • 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)

Readers on

mendeley
1170 Mendeley
citeulike
14 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, 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.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 3,861 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 1,170 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 76 6%
United Kingdom 33 3%
Germany 19 2%
Brazil 14 1%
Australia 11 <1%
Spain 11 <1%
Japan 10 <1%
France 9 <1%
Canada 6 <1%
Other 67 6%
Unknown 914 78%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 333 28%
Student > Master 190 16%
Researcher 169 14%
Student > Bachelor 127 11%
Professor > Associate Professor 86 7%
Other 265 23%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Psychology 254 22%
Social Sciences 234 20%
Computer Science 215 18%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 98 8%
Business, Management and Accounting 78 7%
Other 291 25%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 6326. 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 26 May 2017.
All research outputs
#10
of 7,772,166 outputs
Outputs from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
#1
of 44,869 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#1
of 174,838 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
#1
of 928 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 7,772,166 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 44,869 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 23.0. 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 174,838 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 928 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.