Detecting emotional contagion in massive social networks

Lorenzo Coviello, Yunkyu Sohn, Adam D.I. Kramer, Cameron Marlow, Massimo Franceschetti, Nicholas A. Christakis, James H. Fowler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

212 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Happiness and other emotions spread between people in direct contact, but it is unclear whether massive online social networks also contribute to this spread. Here, we elaborate a novel method for measuring the contagion of emotional expression. With data from millions of Facebook users, we show that rainfall directly influences the emotional content of their status messages, and it also affects the status messages of friends in other cities who are not experiencing rainfall. For every one person affected directly, rainfall alters the emotional expression of about one to two other people, suggesting that online social networks may magnify the intensity of global emotional synchrony.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere90315
JournalPloS one
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Mar 12
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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