More research on the fascinating topic of contagious happiness

More research on the fascinating topic of contagious happiness

Studies back contagious power of happiness

Dec 17, 2008

By Lynne Friedmann

– La Jolla Light

New research from UC San Diego and Harvard Medical School shows that happiness can spread through a social network – traveling not just from one person to another but even to people up to three degrees removed.

Using data from the decades-long Framingham Heart Study, researchers recreated a social network of 4,739 people whose happiness was measured from 1983 to 2003 through answers to a standardized set of questions. The research shows that happy people tend to cluster together, and people with more social contacts seem generally happier.

An important finding is that what matters most was not just the total number of connections, but the number of happy connections. On average, every happy friend increases a person’s own chance of being happy by nine percent. Each unhappy friend decreases it by 7 percent. The study appears in the “British Medical Journal.”

To read more about the positive psychology research findings on happiness contagion – click here