Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC San Diego

UC San Diego Previously Published Works bannerUC San Diego

Detecting emotional contagion in massive social networks.

  • Author(s): Coviello, Lorenzo;
  • Sohn, Yunkyu;
  • Kramer, Adam DI;
  • Marlow, Cameron;
  • Franceschetti, Massimo;
  • Christakis, Nicholas A;
  • Fowler, James H
  • et al.

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.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View