Facebook, online social networking service, is now officially becoming an online science laboratory. The company revealed a researcher quoting that they carried a week-lasting experiment by using nearly 700,000 users to test the effects of transferring emotion online.
News Feeds of around 689,003 users Worldwide (of the English language version) were altered to see “whether exposure to emotions led people to change their own posting behaviors,” Facebook says.
There was one track for those receiving more positive posts, and another for those who were exposed to more emotionally negative content from their friends, reports The Next Web.
Facebook concluded that people who saw positive content were upon average, more positive and less negative with their Facebook activity in the days that followed. Ultimately, in-person interaction and nonverbal cues are not strictly necessary for emotional contagion.
According to the paper, “when a person loaded their News Feed, posts containing emotional content or emotional valence had 10% and 90% chance (based on their User ID) of being omitted from their News Feed for that specific viewing.”