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In Virtue/Vice, Dr. Christine B. Whelan blogs about news, books, scientific and psychological research and her general musings about virtue and vice in our everyday lives.

 

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October 12th, 2010

The Contagion Meme

 
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contagion-meme-flashSlate offers an interesting spin on the “contagiousness” research that I’ve been writing about recently, including a history of the concept of contagions. Yes, you are more likely to act in ways of virtue and vice depending on the behavior of friends and family.

Writes Dave Johns:

Perhaps the only thing more irresistible than these social germs is the contagion meme itself-in September, Christakis and Fowler’s work was featured on the cover of the New York Times Magazine, and their book Connected made Oprah’s fall reading list. The scientists seem to have hit on a simple recipe-socially contagious transmission, three degrees of separation-that has proved remarkably catching.

And, by the way, meme is now my new favorite word. Right behind solipsism. Just wait until I can get them both in a sentence together.

 
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The Author : Christine B. Whelan
Dr. Christine B. Whelan is an author, professor and speaker. She and her husband, Peter, and their dictator cats, Chairman Meow and Evita Purron, live in Pittsburgh. Her book "Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women" is available in stores or at the Halo Store.
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