Social Contagion

Attitudes, behaviors, and emotions spread spontaneously through social circles.

This process is called social contagion, and it has significant implications for our lives.

For instance, fascinating research shows that:

  • If you share rooms with a student who has good grades, your GPA will likely increase too1.
  • If your colleagues are often late for work, you’ll also be more inclined to come in late2.
  • If you have a friend who becomes obese, your risk of becoming obese increases3.

The people around you affect you much more than what it seems like.

So, deliberately surround yourself with positive influences.

With time, the way they do things will become the way you do things.


  1. Peer Effects with Random Assignment by Bruce Sacerdote
  2. Employee Lateness Behavior by Joelle Elicker et al.
  3. The Spread of Obesity in a Large Social Network over 32 Years by Nicholas Christakis et al.

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