A study by Harvard social scientist Dr. Nicholas Christakis and his political-science colleague James Fowler at the University of California at San Diego revealed that both aspects might have more impact than we thought.
The following parts comes from an article on the Time website.
“In their most recent paper, published in the British Medical Journal, Christakis and Fowler explored the emotional state of nearly 5,000 people and the more than 50,000 social ties they shared. At three points during the long study, all the participants answered a standard questionnaire to determine their happiness level, so that the scientists could track changes in emotional state. That led to their intriguing finding of just how contagious happiness can be: if a subject’s friend was happy, that subject was 15% more likely to be happy too; if that friend’s friend was happy, the original subject was 10% more likely to be so. Even if the subject’s friend’s friend’s friend–entirely unknown to the subject–was happy, the subject still got a 5.6% boost.
The happiness dividend is more powerful if two people not only know each other but also are equally fond of each other. Happiness is more infectious in mutual relationships (in which both people name the other as a friend) than in unreciprocated ones (in which only one is named).
They also found that environment didn’t have nearly the power that relationships did.”
The article covers more than only happiness, but it is very interesting to see what the impact of our second and third degree network on us is.
Have a great networking day !