Facts and Statistics on How Happiness Is Contagious

Facts and Statistics on How Happiness Is Contagious

We found that happiness can spread like a virus through social networks. In fact, if your friends’ friends’ friend becomes happy, it significantly increases the chance that you’ll be happy.

–Dr. James Fowler, in “Happiness Is… – MSNBC.”

4 Facts & Stats on How Happiness Is Contagious

A study by two professors from Harvard and UCSD, Dr. Nicholas Christakis and Dr. James Fowler, found that when a person becomes happy:

  • Next door neighbors have a 34% increased chance of becoming happy.
  • A friend living within one mile has a 25% increased chance of becoming happy.
  • Siblings have a 14% increased chance of becoming happy.
  • A spouse has an 8% change of becoming happy.

 

More on the Happiness Contagion Study…

Happiness isn’t a solitary experience; it’s dependent on others. Harvard researchers followed 4,739 people for 20 years, measuring how social networks, siblings, friends and neighbors are affected by the happiness of others.

The study controlled factors of age, gender, education and occupation.

Researchers found that close physical proximity is essential for happiness to spread. A happy friend who lives within a half-mile makes you 42% more likely to be happy yourself. If that same friend lives two miles away, the impact drops to 22%. Happy siblings make you 14% more likely to be happy, but only if they live within a mile. Happy spouses provide an 8% boost, if they live under the same roof.

Previous research has shown that people who are happy have healthier hearts, they have lower levels of stress hormones, and they live longer.

–Dr. James Fowler, in “Happiness Is… – MSNBC.”

Text in this post is excerpted from the videos shown above.
Image: "true happiness" by Anton Kudris.

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