Photo credit: Paul Schnaittacher
A Greek American physician and sociologist at Harvard University, Nicholas Christakis in his latest study suggests that Happiness is Contagious.
Enough misery, if we want to be happy let's surround ourselves with happy people!!
According to Dr Christakis, "a person's happiness is related to the happiness of their friends, their friends' friends, and their friends' friends' friends—that is, to people well beyond their social horizon. We found that happy people tend to be located in the center of their social networks and to be located in large clusters of other happy people. And we found that each additional happy friend increases a person's probability of being happy by about 9%."
For example, when a person who lives within a mile of a good friend becomes happier, the probability that this person's good friend will also become happier increases 15%. More surprising is that the effect can transcend direct links and reach a third degree of separation: when a friend of a friend becomes happier, we become happier, even when we don't know that third person directly...
(To read the entire article in TIME - click here)
Nicholas A. Christakis, MD, PhD, MPH, is a Greek American, born in the USA 47 years ago. A fluent Greek speaker, he collaborates closely with the National Kapodistrian University of Athens and visits Greece on a regular basis, both for professional and personal reasons as his father lives on the island of Crete for six months of the year.
Married with three children, Dr Christakis is an internist and social scientist who conducts research on social factors that affect health, health care, and longevity. He is a Professor of Medical Sociology in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School; Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology in the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences; and an Attending Physician (with an emphasis on palliative medicine) in the Department of Medicine at the Mt. Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
As of July, 2009, he will be the Master of Pforzheimer House in Harvard College.
Dr. Christakis' current work is principally concerned with health and social networks. This work takes seriously the contention that because people are inter-connected, their health is inter-connected. This work explores two aspects of social networks: the process by which they form ("connection") and the way they operate to influence behavior ("contagion"). Related work examines the health benefits of marriage and the consequences of spousal illness and widowhood. Other ongoing investigations consider the effects of neighborhoods on people's health, the bio demographic determinants of longevity, and the genetic bases for human behaviors. His past work has examined the accuracy and role of prognosis in medicine and ways of improving end-of-life care.
Along with his long-time collaborator, James Fowler, Dr. Christakis has authored a general-audience book on social networks that will appear in late 2009:
Connected: The Surprising Power of Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives.
To read more about Dr Nicholas Christakis - Click here
Dr Nicholas Christakis - Ta Nea Newspaper (in Greek)
Updated: Listen to Dr Nicholas Christakis speak on the Hidden Influence of Social Networks - February 2010