As we already know, if we see someone yawning on the other side of the room, we are likely to also yawn. Just as well as we are compelled to smile at someone if they smile at us – these are just some of the contagious behaviors, but did you know these are not the only ones?
Here is a list of 8 proven contagious behaviors we are all prone to.
Of course, this is one of the most commonly known contagious behaviors, and even by thinking about yawning, I’m sure you’re starting to yawn yourself already – like I am myself now. :)
This is a very simple thing to do: you’ll often find that if you smile at someone – whether you know them or not – they will smile back at you. This is a very simple pleasure in life knowing that you have the power to make someone smile and make their day.
However, you may have noticed that not everyone smiles back. Research has shown that only 50% of people actually smile back.
When you see and hear someone else laugh, your body is instantly ready for laughter itself. Researcher Professor Sophie Scott tells us more about the study that came to this conclusion:
“It seems that it’s absolutely true that ‘laugh and the whole world laughs with you’.”
It’s been found that the most common place to experience rudeness is the workplace which has been shown by new studies. When people experience rude behavior, they start to expect people to be rude later on. It’s all because people who have experienced rudeness previously will be more likely to display rude behavior in the future. These conclusions of the study were found in a group of graduate students who were practicing negotiations with each other.
Although both positive and negative behaviors are contagious, positive actions which show happiness are likely to spread faster than the negative ones. You can see this unfold in one of the largest online studies using Facebook, which looked at the posts over two years, examining the emotional context. Then, software analyzed the data and the results showed that emotions were, in fact, contagious and more so of the positive ones. For every positive post on Facebook, there were 1.75 more positive posts by Facebook friends.
Just as happiness is contagious, so is anxiety and this doesn’t just include genetics as it was found that anxious personality can be passed from parent to child. A recent study by Professor Thalia Eley shows how anxious parents need to avoid passing it through to their children with their behaviors and actions.
“Our research shows that even if you have had to cope with high levels of anxiety yourself, it is not inevitable that this will follow in your children. There are many things that can be done at home to prevent or reduce anxiety in children and adolescents. Whilst a natural tendency when your child is anxious is to try to protect them, it can be more helpful to support them in taking small age-appropriate risks.”
Seeing someone else shiver has the potential to make us feel cold, a study found. This is due to us being able to empathize with others as humans are social creatures.
People are more likely to take risks if they observe other people adopting risk-taking behaviors. For example, if your group of friends started risk-taking, you are likely to join in. Dr. Shinsuke Suzuki, one of the authors of the related study, has a few words to talk about on the subject of risk-taking:
“By observing others behaving in a risk-seeking or risk-averse fashion, we become in turn more or less prone to risky behavior.”
Have you noticed that you are actually prone to any of these contagious behaviors? Do you know any other similar behaviors? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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