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« Acupuncture and Parkinson's Disease | Main | Teen Driving Risks »

January 25, 2007


Jim Pfrommer

Don't believe the positive affects have the market cornered on "affect contagion."
We wouldn't want to forget crying at funerals, or God forbid, the sheer power of an angry lynch mob.

Richard Petty

Dear Jim,

Excellent point!

I wonder if you've ever attended a funeral in a culture in which massive out-pourings of grief are the cathartic norm? I wonder whether those good people get over their grief with less persistent dysphoria. I've not seen any studies on that, but it might make sense.

As I was writing the piece on laughter I was waiting to see how my football team - Arsenal - was going to do this weekend, and thought about the amazing emotional power of the crowds. Or, for that matter, the way that everyone seemed to be swept up in the Nuremburg rallies.

And by the way, you'd better try and patent "affect contagion," or I'm going to steal it! I've used "emotional contagion" but I much prefer your term.

Kindest regards,


Jim Pfrommer

No need to steal. Just use with credit. That's what Nathanson and I did with so much of this stuff as we were making it up.

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