Collaborating Authors

Dogs exhibit emotional contagion for negative sounds

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Researchers have found that dogs tend to match their emotional state to the emotional sounds they hear in humans and other dogs. Dogs responded similarly to emotional sounds from both humans and dogs, and expressed negative emotional states when they heard negative emotional sounds. The research indicates that dogs are able to distinguish between positive and negative emotional sounds and are sensitive to emotions in humans. Emotional contagion is a basic component of empathy, defined as an automatic and unconscious emotional state-matching between two individuals. Emotional contagion has been demonstrated in various animal species ranging from primates to rodents.

Senior UK Medic Confident 'R' Contagion Number Below 1 Across Country

U.S. News

The R number, or effective reproduction number, measures the average number of people that one infected person will pass the virus on to. An R number above 1 can lead very rapidly to exponential growth.

Investigating the Observability of Complex Contagion in Empirical Social Networks

AAAI Conferences

Social contagion is the mechanism by which ideas and behaviors spread across human social networks. Simple contagion models approximate the likelihood of adoption as constant with each exposure to an "infected" network neighbor. However, social theory postulates that when adopting an idea or behavior carries personal or social risk, an individual's adoption likelihood also depends on the number of distinct neighbors who have adopted. Such complex contagions are thought to govern the spread of social movements and other important social phenomena. Online sites, such as Twitter, expose social interactions at a large scale and provide an opportunity to observe the spread of social contagions "in the wild." Much of the effort in searching for complex phenomena in real world contagions focuses on measuring user adoption thresholds. In this work, we show an alternative method for fitting probabilistic complex contagion models to empirical data that avoids measuring thresholds directly, and our results indicate bias in observed thresholds under both complex and simple models. We also show 1) that probabilistic models of simple and complex contagion are distinguishable when applied to an empirical social network with random user activity; and 2) the predictive power of these probabilistic adoption models against observed adoptions of actual hashtags used on Twitter. We use a set of tweets collected from Nigeria in 2014, focusing on 20 popular hashtags, using the follow graphs of the users adopting the tags during their initial peaks of activity.

Prison Contagion in Americas 'Deeply Worrying', U.N. Says

U.S. News

Asked about the situation in U.S jails, he said that thousands of cases of infections in prison were a "major concern", naming specifically New York and Chicago. But he said that some progress had been made with releases of prisoners incarcerated for secondary crimes.