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Happiness is socially contagious

Could the happiness of others, including strangers, influence an individual?s level of happiness?

According to a recent study published by researchers at Harvard University the happiness of friends, family and neighbours influences individual happiness.  What the study found was that happiness spreads through social networks very quickly and it spreads much easier than unhappiness.

The study measured the happiness of 4739 people over two decades, and found that having a happy friend who lives near by increases the chances of being happy by 25 per cent.  The study also found that having a friend of a friend who is happy can boost happiness by 9.8 per cent.  

 The research confirms that the cheeriness of others is contagious and that this has a positive effect beyond immediate friends and family. This study also highlights that happiness is not just about the individual and individual interventions.

To read the article click here. The same data set has previously produced findings on obesity and smoking

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