- Mon, June 06 2011
- Filed under: Marketing essentials
We know everything from obesity to ideas to happiness spreads among people. So is being nice also contagious?
Yes, according to a study by James Fowler and Nicholas Christakis.
In their study “Cooperative behavior cascades in human social networks,” they explored how far one person’s cooperative or generous behavior could spread within that person’s network. They found:
1. Whether out of genetics, the human tendency to mimic others or the power of social norms, cooperation definitely spreads in human networks.
2. Altruism cascades up to three degrees of separation. For example, I do a good thing, which inspires another person to do a good thing, which prompts yet another person to do a good thing.
3. Uncooperative behavior also cascades, unfortunately!
So what does this mean to us?
Champions of our cause are important because when they help our cause, they inspire their friends - and friends of friends - to also help others. Good is contagious, so encourage your fans to spread the word about their own acts of generosity. Celebrate and spotlight the spread of altruism, because it cascades into still more generosity. That’s the kind of contagion we’d all like to see in the world.