Results of the study spread — and with that anger and disbelief.
“Emotional states can be transferred to others via emotional contagion, leading people to experience the same emotions without their awareness,” the study authors wrote.
“These results indicate that emotions expressed by others on Facebook influence our own emotions, constituting experimental evidence for massive-scale contagion via social networks.”
While other research has used metadata to study trends, this experiment appears to be unique because it manipulated the data to see if there was a reaction.
The social network, which has more than one billion active users, said in a statement that “none of the data used was associated with a specific person’s Facebook account.”