Good News for Happy People: It’s Contagious
(this is the second page. read full article here you go: http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2008/12/05/happiness-contagious.html
Happy people tended to be at the center of social networks and had many friends who were also happy. Having friends or siblings nearby increased people’s chances of being upbeat. Happiness spread outward by three degrees, to the friends of friends of friends.
Happy spouses helped, too, but not as much as happy friends of the same gender. Experts think people, particularly woman, take emotional cues from people who look like them.
Christakis and Fowler estimate that each happy friend boosts your own chances of being happy by 9 percent. Having grumpy friends decreases it by about 7 percent.
But it also turns out misery don’t love company: Happiness seemed to spread more consistently than unhappiness. But that doesn’t mean you should drop your gloomy friends.
“Every friend increases the probability that you’re at the center of a network, which means you are more eligible to get a wave of happiness,” Fowler said.
Being happy also brings other benefits, including a protective effect on your immune system so you produce fewer stress hormones, said Andrew Steptoe, a psychology professor at University College London who was not involved with the study.