Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Happiness is contagious

It is said that some people have a natural gift of making pleasant or valuable discoveries just by accident. There is a special word for such ability and it is called serendipity. Well, I don’t have that talent, but yesterday I came across an article about happiness while searching for something entirely different. You might say this is a natural course of events if someone is not focused while surfing on the net. I won’t argue about that but the findings are certainly worth sharing. 

According to this research article, thousands of people were studies for more than twenty years to assess the spread of happiness within social groups. The participants were asked to evaluate their level of happiness on the following four item scale.

How often during the past week:
1. I enjoyed life.
2. I was happy.
3. I felt hopeful about the future.
4. I felt that I was as good as other people.

The results, on the hindsight, seem quite obvious. People’s happiness depends on the people they live or connect with. Clusters of happy and unhappy people were visible on the network. Apparently, happiness can spread from person to person like an infectious disease. So, if you want to be happy, just hang around someone euphoric and try to avoid the company of gloomy ones. I would recommend checking the level of happiness on the above four item scale once in a while if not every week. After all, happiness and unhappiness both are contagious.

Image credit: www.gagdonkey.com