Published in PLOS ONE, the study analyzes over a billion anonymized status updates among more than 100 million users of Facebook in the United States. Positive posts beget positive posts, the study finds, and negative posts beget negative ones, with the positive posts being more influential, or more contagious.
Electrical engineering graduate student Lorenzo Coviello was a major contributor to the study, which was led by James Fowler, professor of political science in the Division of Social Sciences and of medical genetics in the School of Medicine at UC San Diego. Coviello is a Ph.D. student working in the laboratory of electrical engineering professor Massimo Franceschetti.
|(L_R) Lorenzo Coviello, Ph.D. student in electrical engineering, and his advisor, professor Massimo Franceschetti.|
A few links to the coverage including interviews with Lorenzo and Massimo:
Wall Street Journal video interview with Lorenzo Coviello
Quartz interview with Massimo Franceschetti
And easily the best headline from the study came from the Jacksonville, Fla.-based The Florida Times Union: