Slate 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.