Hey you. Yes, you. Do you know how awesome you are? Well, let me e-mail you this story as a reminder.
According to research on what news articles people are more likely to share with others, stories of man’s triumph over tragedy trumps even the most salacious exposé on Tiger Woods.
Yes, you heard it. A study of more than 7,000 New York Times articles show that awe-inspiring stories go ‘viral’’ faster than you can say Brangelina.
Sure, readers of NYT may not be the News of the World type but that was factored in the research, too, by two Wharton School academics who analysed the articles.
They even calibrated their research on other variables that could skew their number-crunching like writing style and positioning (front page versus back page).
Conclusion? Awe-inspiring articles are more likely to go viral; positive news get forwarded more often than negative news; and people are more likely to share longer articles that showcase self-transcendence.
So next time you think society is only obsessed with celebrity culture, think again. Hard data proves many people are more enlightened than some sociologists give them credit for. That’s a good thing given studies suggest what we share with the society shapes our own culture.
* Just google ‘Social Transmission and Viral Culture’ to find out more.