December 7, 2008

Happiness as a collective phenomenon

Here is an article that offers a network science approach to happiness: Happiness is a collective - not just individual - phenomenon. Here are some findings reported in that article:

The researchers found that happiness spreads through social networks. One person’s happiness triggers a chain reaction that benefits not only their friends, but their friends’ friends, and their friends’ friends’ friends. The effect lasts for up to one year. The opposite is not the case: sadness does not spread through social networks as robustly as happiness. Happiness appears to love company more so than misery. They also found that popularity leads to happiness. People in the center of their network clusters are the most likely people to become happy. However, becoming happy does not help migrate a person from the network fringe to the center. Happiness spreads through the network without altering its structure.


  1. Excellent bit.

    Happyness is a quick and sure messenger.

    The links have to be there, though.

    Nodes in a netwerk don't move, never do, as suggested by the phrasing; the way to become a more important node (=more popular one), is by making more links, and gatewaying (strengthening) existing links by adding raisons d'etre.

    Start connecting! Use happy messages to do it, but connect to people you did not know before.

    That's what this post made me want to add.



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