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The happiness virus

Happy people tend to have happy friends. That may or may not mean happiness is contagious.

3:26pm, December 12, 2008

It’s too good an idea to resist: Happiness is contagious. A new study published online Dec. 4 in the British Medical Journal shows it.

Maybe you’d be more inclined to resist these ideas, though: Headaches are contagious. Acne is contagious. Height is contagious.

According to another study published the same day in the same journal, by Ethan Cohen-Cole of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and Jason Fletcher of YaleUniversity, these latter claims are nearly as likely as the first. The researchers “proved” them using the same methodology.

Sure, say Cohen-Cole and Fletcher, happy people te

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