Strange Contagion: Inside the Surprising Science of Infectious Behaviors and Viral Emotions and What They Tell Us About Ourselves

Strange Contagion: Inside the Surprising Science of Infectious Behaviors and Viral Emotions and What They Tell Us About Ourselves

by Lee Daniel Kravetz

Hardcover

$26.99
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Thursday, May 30

Overview

Picking up where The Tipping Point leaves off, respected journalist Lee Daniel Kravetz’s Strange Contagion is a provocative look at both the science and lived experience of social contagion.

In 2009, tragedy struck the town of Palo Alto: A student from the local high school had died by suicide by stepping in front of an oncoming train. Grief-stricken, the community mourned what they thought was an isolated loss. Until, a few weeks later, it happened again. And again. And again. In six months, the high school lost five students to suicide at those train tracks.

A recent transplant to the community and a new father himself, Lee Daniel Kravetz’s experience as a science journalist kicked in: what was causing this tragedy? More important, how was it possible that a suicide cluster could develop in a community of concerned, aware, hyper-vigilant adults?

The answer? Social contagion. We all know that ideas, emotions, and actions are communicable—from mirroring someone’s posture to mimicking their speech patterns, we are all driven by unconscious motivations triggered by our environment. But when just the right physiological, psychological, and social factors come together, we get what Kravetz calls a "strange contagion:" a perfect storm of highly common social viruses that, combined, form a highly volatile condition.

Strange Contagion is simultaneously a moving account of one community’s tragedy and a rigorous investigation of social phenomenon, as Kravetz draws on research and insights from experts worldwide to unlock the mystery of how ideas spread, why they take hold, and offer thoughts on our responsibility to one another as citizens of a globally and perpetually connected world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062448934
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/27/2017
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 1,307,980
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Lee Daniel Kravetz has a master's degree in counseling psychology and is a graduate of the University of Missouri–Columbia School of Journalism. He has written for Psychology Today, the Huffington Post, and the New York Times, among other publications. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and children.

Table of Contents

Author's Note ix

Part I The Valley of the Shadow 1

Part II The Perfect Model 33

Part III The Frenzied 49

Part IV The Motivators 83

Part V The Interrupters 113

Part VI The Interlopers 141

Part VII The Conversation 169

Part VIII The Community 207

Acknowledgments 227

A Note on Support 229

Selected Sources 233

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews