The Happiness Effect

How emotions and even behaviors can spread like an epidemic

Illustration by Dave Wheeler for TIME

The next time you get the flu, there will almost certainly be someone you can blame for your pain. There's the inconsiderate co-worker who decided to drag himself to the office and spent the day sniffling, sneezing and shivering in the cubicle next to yours. Or your child's best friend, the one who showed up for a playdate with a runny nose and a short supply of tissues. Then there's the guy at the gym who spent more time sneezing than sweating on the treadmill before you used it.

You're right to pass the blame. Pathogens like the influenza virus pass...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!