Emotions as infectious diseases in a large social network: the SISa model – , , ,

Human populations are arranged in social networks that determine interactions and influence the spread of diseases, behaviours and ideas. In this article the authors evaluate the spread of long-term emotional states across a social network.  They provide formal evidence that positive and negative emotional states behave like infectious diseases spreading across social networks over long periods of time. Their results give insight into the transmissive nature of positive and negative emotional states. Determining to what extent particular emotions or behaviours are infectious is a promising direction for further research with important implications for social science, epidemiology and health policy. Their model provides a theoretical framework for studying the interpersonal spread of any state that may also arise spontaneously, such as emotions, behaviours, health states, ideas or diseases with reservoirs.

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