"Happiness can spread among people like a contagion, study indicates" The Washington Post. December 5. 2008

HAPPINESS IS CONTAGIOUS , spreading among friends, neighbors, siblings, and spouses ..., according to a large study that for the first time shows how emotion can ripple through clusters of people who may not even know each other.

The study of more than 4,700 people who were followed over 20 years found that people who are happy or become happy boost the chances that someone they know will be happy. The power of happiness, moreover, can span another degree of separation, elevating the mood of that person's husband, wife, brother, sister, friend, or next-door neighbor.

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