Fear, anger prompt us to share stories, messages

July 1st, 2011 - 3:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Facebook Washington, July 1 (IANS) Certain emotions like fear, anger or plain amusement prompt us to share articles, news and stories with our friends and acquaintances.

According to a University of Pennsylvania research, these emotions are characterized by high arousal and action, unlike sadness or contentment, emotions linked with low arousal or inaction.

“If something makes you angry as opposed to sad, for example, you’re more likely to share it with your family and friends because you’re fired up,” says Jonah Berger, study co-author and assistant professor of marketing at the university.

Berger is especially interested in how social transmission leads online content to become viral, reports the journal Psychological Science.

“There is so much interest in Facebook, Twitter, and other types of social media today,” he says, according to a Pennsylvania statement.

“But for companies and organizations to use these technologies effectively, they need to understand why people talk about and share certain things,” Berger says.

The study was based on two different experiments involving 93 students to test Berger’s theory. The results demonstrated that students who felt high arousal emotions were much more inclined to share with others.

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