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Record number 497830
Title The happiness paradox: your friends are happier than you
Author(s) Bollen, J.; Leemput, I.A. van de; Goncalves Souza, M.B.; Ruan, G.
Source ArXiv (2016). - 15 p.
Department(s) Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management
WIMEK
Publication type Non-refereed article in scientific journal
Publication year 2016
Abstract Most individuals in social networks experience a so-called Friendship Paradox: they are less popular than their friends on average. This effect may explain recent findings that widespread social network media use leads to reduced happiness. However the relation between popularity and happiness is poorly understood. A Friendship paradox does not necessarily imply a Happiness paradox where most individuals are less happy than their friends. Here we report the first direct observation of a significant Happiness Paradox in a large-scale online social network of 39,110 Twitter users. Our results reveal that popular individuals are indeed happier and that a majority of individuals experience a significant Happiness paradox. The magnitude of the latter effect is shaped by complex interactions between individual popularity, happiness, and the fact that users cluster assortatively by level of happiness. Our results indicate that the topology of online social networks and the distribution of happiness in some populations can cause widespread psycho-social effects that affect the well-being of billions of individuals.
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