Researchers have found evidence suggesting that mood may spread from person to person via social contagion. Does this prove the old saying – “You are who you associate with”?
Lead researcher Robert Eyre published his findings in a recent issue of the journal Royal Society Open Science. The researchers used information gleaned from a longitudinal study of adolescents in grades 7 through 12 starting in the 1994-95 school year and followed through 2008. In reviewing the data, the researchers noted that the prevailing moods in a circle of friends would influence the emotional state of each individual in the circle. The researchers concluded that moods are in fact contagious.
So, if you find yourself depressed, or angry, or irritable often – look at your friends and see if they exhibit the same characteristics. If so, maybe it’s time to expose yourself to your friends who are more upbeat, happy, and friendly!
The research study can be found at Spreading of Components of Mood in Adolescent Social Networks published September 20, 2017 in the Royal Society Open Science journal.