Meg - A Bookish Affair's Reviews > Strange Contagion: Inside the Surprising Science of Infectious Behaviors and Viral Emotions and What They Tell Us About Ourselves

Strange Contagion by Lee Daniel Kravetz
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really liked it
bookshelves: 2017, non-fiction, science

"Strange Contagion" is a look at how ideas, thoughts, and emotions can be passed between different people. When I hear the word contagion, I think about things like communicable diseases. They are passed from person to person because of people being in close proximity to others. In this book, Kravetz explores how this same sort of passing from person to person can happen with a whole array of things to include thoughts even when the person being passed the thoughts had never had that particular thought before.

I thought it was interesting that Kravetz was drawn to this subject after a rash of teenage suicides plagued his town. Now he happens to live in Palo Alto, California, one of the most affluent areas. It has good schools and the families that live there have the resources to be able to take care of whatever is illing them so the rash of suicides is puzzling. Kravetz wonders what is going on.

Looking at theories and data, he starts drawing connections between how our feelings can pass to each other and what is to be done about it. It is fascinating and something that I hadn't really thought about before but when you start parsing it out, it makes sense. If someone around me is sad or scared, I can feel myself picking up on that feeling. Kravetz also explores how these catching feelings can also mean something good like innovation.

This would be a good read for those who enjoyed books like "The Tipping Point" or other books about things that on their face don't seem to have a real connection to each other but you find the connections when you're willing to dig a bit and consider the unexpected.
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Reading Progress

June 21, 2017 – Started Reading
June 21, 2017 – Shelved
June 26, 2017 – Shelved as: 2017
June 26, 2017 – Shelved as: non-fiction
June 26, 2017 – Shelved as: science
June 26, 2017 – Finished Reading

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