Rus Articles Journal

As far as we are subject to influence of people around?

not only surround the Environment, but also forms me. It molds each of us in his own image, we want that or not. The weight, a state of mind, romantic preferences, wealth and even life expectancy - all this at all not result of our free choice or casual combination of circumstances. It appears, they are given from one to another as infectious diseases. The science is surprised, but is categorical. Mike (30), the worker find fault with

- a teka, visited in a year twenty weddings of the close friends. Until recently, he tells, all of us were inveterate bessemeynik. Nobody stammered at a marriage. But once one couple broke this canon, and we were captured by wedding epidemic. Recently speed grew to three weddings a month. Being literally and figuratively expressed, I feel like the last bachelor .

Similar feeling is peculiar not only thirty-year-old and is accompanied by the most different things. Old friends suddenly find out that they married nearly at the same time that their photos on Facebook are surprisingly similar that they have identical political views that they together smoke cigarettes or, on the contrary, try to get rid of smoking that they have a similar standard of living that recently they endured similar events

Personal qualities and the facts of the biography tend to extend by contacts or simply by air . Such is the main conclusion of the longest and documented social research in the history. Its drama results were published in the book Connected ( Connected ) let out in 2009. On expression To the Nye - York Tayms this work can change all our outlook.

the Book is transferred to tens of languages, including Russian, but we, being burned with curiosity, already now we will leaf through its pages. Research was conducted by two professors: Nicholas Kristakis (Nicholas Christakis) and James Fowler (James Fowler). They very convincingly show that the most important decisions, both in work, and in private life, the person accepts, mainly, because his friends undertook something similar. At the same time everyone is deeply sure that he acts voluntarily, having considered and having weighed all for and against .

What exactly spheres are subject to so radical influence of the environment? Yes in principle, all. A physical state - for example, tendency to obesity or to longevity, - as well as a measure of happiness which we test, are caused not by a case and often even not genes. They - a mold of our social communications. A depression, divorce, smoking, generosity, alcoholism, frequency of the sexual relations, participation in elections, probability of suicide, body language, musical taste, approach to life - all this we adopt each other. Sometimes simple action or imperceptible line of one person is promptly thrown on tens of members of his circle.

We came to this tremendous opening nearly by mistake - Nicholas Kristakis, the doctor and the specialist in social policy from Harvard included the " magazine says; Time in the list of hundred most influential people of 2009. His colleague James Fowler is considered one of the most original minds of America. Its social researches are widely quoted in tens of mass media, including CNN, the « magazine; Wired and the weekly supplement to To the Nye - York Tayms .

It is difficult to believe, - Kristakis continues, - that our freedom of choice is an illusion. Actually, we practically are not imperious over anything. The obtained data are so unambiguous that we are simply forced to recognize it. People do not differ from birds in pack or from the buffalo s who are running herd and amicably turning together with all. When we are asked why we grew stout, we lead the conversation on bad genes. When at us are interested why we left off smoking, we refer to care about health of children. Actually we just move with herd, picking up infectious social phenomena. Having correctly understood them, we will manage to change a lot of things in society by right realization of a personal contact and social " mechanisms;.

B 2007 Kristakis and Fowler began to publish results of the researches in the famous British medical magazines, blowing up small bombs in the scientific environment. They were based on results of the long-term supervision over 12 thousand by residents Framingem located near Boston. So large-scale statistical base gathered never before. She visually showed that the social phenomena and physical states extend among friends on regularity which is not always explainable.

For example if my friend began to smoke, probability that I will begin to smoke too, increases by 61%. The relative at whom the child was born for 15% increases my chances to become the parent in the next two years. A depression or disagreement in personal relations also infect circle of acquaintances.

would Seem, nothing surprising? However it only beginning. The matter is that similar interdependence remains at long distances and goes too far. The same smoker gives the harmful addiction even to friends of friends who also had never heard of it. And them already hundreds. First lit, first grown stout, first marrying, first divorced becomes sometimes the catalyst of mass changes in life of those whom he never met and will not meet.

the Science still had no idea of similar phenomena, and nevertheless, they are already recorded and confirmed, unlike many social theories distributed presently. So can be, we all - should treat people around on which, without exaggeration, our life depends more attentively? the City on a palm

Everything began

in 2000 when Kristakis studied at the Chicago university effect of widowhood . He found out that people who should look after fatally sick relatives begin to have problems with health and besides manage to transfer this tendency to relatives. In 2002 - m Kristakis got acquainted in Fowler who investigated epidemiology participations and nonparticipations in elections.

At that time over all country rattled Malkolm Gledvell`s best-seller Turning point ( The Tipping Point ) - collection of scientific data, jokes and personal conclusions of rather secret mechanisms of formation of global trends and world fashion. The academic circles rejected the original theory of Gledvell, considering that it is based on literary talent, but not the phenomena which give in to measurement. However other America bought 1. 7 million copies of the book also accepted its terms: social epidemic and binding - i.e. special people thanks to whom the minor detail can become history.

Kristakis and Fowler decided to believe this poetry algebra and to translate new terminology into language of science. They requested from government fund a grant in $25 million for six years` research of 30 thousand Americans to check whether really they infect each other with ideas and behavioural templates. The request was rejected for the reason that social epidemics had even no primary scientific confirmation.

Then - that we also came to Framingem - Kristakis tells. This city since 1948 formed huge base for search of the factors causing heart attacks - the leading cause of death in the USA. At the first stage five thousand residents were carefully investigated also proanketirovana. The purpose of scientists was to give as much as possible volleys in all directions over time to compare the saved-up data. Each four years respondents were invited to repeated procedures and anew answered questions, and the quantity of questions and scale of coverage of the population constantly grew.

By 1971 participants of experiment were already 12000 people. Those who for any reasons left the city did not drop out of a field of vision of scientists also. So far three generations of respondents allowed to create scale of Framingem - a formula on the basis of which the probability of heart attacks in the next decade is calculated.

But in addition, Framingem became model thoroughly investigated pass - societies with semicentennial chronology of social and family relations, habits, biographies and medical indicators. The real treasure which does not have analogs in psychology, sociology and cultural science. Three extents of influence



B 2003 Kristakis with Fowler collected with

data on Framingem and created the virtual card of social and family relations of citizens. Using this map, they began to investigate two factors: smoking and excess weight. The surprising detail was found soon: the people who had obesity in 1971, " steel; infection centers and over the years generated around themselves whole clusters fat men.

However this tendency did not affect at all other groups of friends who remained same lean what were initially. However, those from them who tore off communications with the group very often too began to get fat, and sometimes prematurely died.

the Statistics recorded three extents of influence of the fat man on an environment:

1. the Closest friends, which caught the first, for 57% exceeded an average value of obesity across Framingem.

2. Friends of friends blocked norm for 20%.

3. Thousand people treating the third link of a chain and, with rare exception, not familiar with her founder showed 10% addition in weight.

Similar statistical models were found also in other areas: beginning of smoking and its termination, happiness and tendency to a suicide. The Set of the phenomena investigated by us, - Kristakis says, - were shown in clusters of companions, and we monitored their emergence on a time scale .

As tendency or a trait of character becomes infectious?

it is not revealed

of Definite answers. In a case with smoking it would be logical to shift the blame for an overwhelming role of an external example. However as for obesity or optimistical approach to life - here it is about other mechanisms. Nobody presses on you that you ate more or, for example, became the miser.

We believe, - Kristakis says, - that here the subconscious factors connected with participation are mixed. Researches show that when somebody especially eats at a table much, others begin to follow its example. It is known also that contemplation of the photo with the smiling people increases mood. In return, we found out that business is not limited to the first beholding. If your girlfriend was in trouble at work and splashed out them on you, you will give to colleagues some part of this splash. If your old school friends grew stout, you, in turn, will not show the negative relation to excess weight at yourself at work, even in body language, and it will encourage the getting fat colleagues. Besides, it turned out that the education level is higher, the stronger people influence at each other .

of People - a being collective, and you will do nothing with it. An environment influences us in the visible and invisible range, its currents flow in everyone. We are accompanied and conducted on life of the phenomenon of social character, and the global interrelation is shown today literally at all levels.

Share the smile

Influence it is not always harmful

. Actually, scientists found not a nursery of an infection, but the powerful mechanism of data transmission, the conductor of states in society. It was necessary only to learn to use competently it, opening the wide channel for positive messages and blocking negative. Kristakis and Fowler checked several social networks and found out that positive potential extends in them better than negative. In most cases useful influences exceed harmful. Having told about the happiness, the person for 9% increases chances of the companions to be happy whereas the public misfortune of one threatens his companions with 7% decrease in wellbeing.

One more unexpected fact: superficial friendly communications if there is a lot of them, cause more happiness, than a narrow circle of bosom friends. The matter is that a variety of contacts gives to the person more smiles and the joyful moments in life. They outweigh a negative and gradually impregnate it with optimism.

In interview To the Nye - York Tayms Fowler told how he applies results of research in private life. For example, coming back from work, listens to music which increases to it mood. It is important to me to come home in good mood because now I know that my spirit will affect not only my son, but, somewhat, and mother of his best friend .

Fowler with Kristakis are convinced that the phenomenon opened by them can become a key to improvement of human society. They scientifically confirmed all the known universal truth. The good attitude to the neighbor brings real benefit and if it is correct to build in the society of relationship with people around, then global changes to the best will surely be reflected in everyone.

in confirmation of it Kristakis and Fowler made curious psychological experiment. In 2008 they collected in laboratory of respondents, divided them into groups and suggested to play game on distribution of money. In each group money was available only for one person, and he could show generosity or miserliness at own discretion.

Results are now not so surprising: if giving behaved generous, then members of his group showed then a bigger generosity when there came their turn. Social health, voluntary activity - similar things exert much stronger impact, than primary positive effect which they have - Kristakis sums up. In other words, the positive template of behavior starts the whole wave of consequences, useful to society.

Communication which prolongs life



Kristakis and Fowler did not offer a full-fledged explanation for the revealed phenomena. They just noted that friends give each other conditions of a body, spirit and even finance. In this regard, departments of sociology already should revise the programs. And meanwhile similar data on influence of the environment arrive also from other sources. In 2008 and 2009 two books were published: Blue zones ( The Blue Zones ) and Island ancient ( The Island of the Ancients ) .

the Documentary film maker Dan Bettner (Dan Buettner) became famous in 80 - x years for bicycle race from Alaska to Argentina. He devoted more than ten years to the research blue zones - regions in which there are whole communities of the long-livers who took a century boundary. Among these regions: the island of Okinawa in the south of Japan, Costa - the rikansky city of Nicoya, Lome`s town - Linda, located near Los - Andzheles.

Amazingly, not only as far as these people are vigorous and full of life, - Bettner in one of interview told. - Amazingly the fact that almost one and all live in these communities longer than hundred years I understood at once that between all of them there has to be something the general . However long researches of climate, an oxygen saturation and air pollution, and also various art forms and hobby of long-livers did not lead to anything.

Only as a result Bettner multiplied two by two and understood that the secret of longevity is covered there is nothing other, as in society. Society, but not climate or genes, can guarantee long and happy life. Sotsialcommunication with the whole community of long-livers infects Nye, or rather loads the person with their positive energy.

B 2005 Bettner published the conclusions in the « magazine; National Geographic having explained clearly as this mechanism operates. For example, on Okinawa different generations of a family live together, and people of old age actively help to raise grandsons and great-grandsons. Old men are held in unprecedented respect there and are considered as community pillars. Besides, each person since youth enters in some kind of second family - group of half-dozen of people who support each other throughout all life. Their communication is considered on the island as strong as consanguinity. there is no

In language of inhabitants of Okinawa the word pension, and also there is no concept the seniority. But there is a word ikigay, literally meaning the reason to rise in the mornings, motivation. Ikigay those to whom passed for 80 and 90, - care of kids and communication with the friends. They just radiate at each other feeling of cheerfulness, completeness of life and intelligence, together rejoicing to each new day. Their optimism is so infectious that covers both vegetarians, and meat eaters. Also those who still play sports, and those who can hardly move a little are obedient to it.

However the most known community of long-livers lives in mountains of the Italian province of Nuoro that in east part of the island of Sardinia. The Australian journalist Ben Hills (Ben Hills) lived there the whole year then he published the book Island ancient . Most of all, - he writes, - to me it was remembered as I danced in the village with the woman at her celebration 109 - go birthday .

a longevity Source on Sardinia - again - a big family which lives as a unit. One of local residents told Hills that when one of grandmothers was transferred to nursing home, she died almost at once

Total interdependence



Everything the new and new facts demonstrate that social communications exert decisive impact on health of the person and society.

Ten years` research in Australia revealed advantage of a wide range of communication which allows people to be healthier and to live longer.

B 2009 Harvard scientists published the data confirming that frequent meetings with friends interfere with weakening of brain activity at advanced age.

the Swedish experts found out that vigorous social activity reduces threat of heart attacks at men of middle age.

during blossoming of the Israeli kibbutzim (agricultural communes) life expectancy in them for four years exceeded average values over the country and was one of the highest in the world.

according to scientists from California, the friendship reduces probability of heart attack, coronary heart disease and even cold, and also helps to overcome obstacles, diminishing their weight in our perception.

are Not less important also the family relations. « magazine; Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics published work of the European scientists investigating influence of the related environment on the people having a depression. Even one relative can significantly improve a condition of the patient, increasing chances of positive shifts almost three times. Broader family therapy really helped nearly a half of examinees, and quarters from them allowed to refuse antidepressants. By the way, among the people who are completely deprived of family support nobody achieved it.

the Long research of the New Zealand scientists which captured 35000 respondents from the different countries showed that the people consisting in a legal marriage suffer from stresses, depression, exhaustion and alcoholism much less often. Hans Hendrixon from the Stuttgart university adds to it that married women have less problems with cardiovascular system, mental and sexual health.

Communication for the good

the Modern person is so selfish

that people around even more often seem to it a burden. Actually we just cannot the friend without friend, and the negative phenomena are caused by incorrect use of forces put in society. Time to thoroughly study laws of our interaction and to track threads which svyazut all mankind in a uniform organism came we want that or not.

Relatives, friends, colleagues, neighbors, and also their relatives, friends, colleagues and neighbors These chains bend around the Globe and imperceptibly come back to us, defining our life, deciding our destiny. Here that mean Kristakis and Fowler`s strict statistical calculations. We influence at each other, we depend from each other, and rather well to us can be only when we act together.

Today people, without stinting a negative, infect with surrounding bacilli of hatred, hostility and loneliness. And it besides that we have an opportunity to present each other good luck on a silver platter, having correctly used already ready channels of interrelation. In our hands simple, evidence-based, and, above all, the recipe checked in practice. It is all about an environment which can become the real generator of happiness.