Arousal Increases Social Transmission of Information

4 Pages Posted: 1 Mar 2012

See all articles by Jonah A. Berger

Jonah A. Berger

University of Pennsylvania - Marketing Department

Date Written: February 29, 2012


Social transmission is everywhere. Friends talk about restaurants, policy wonks rant about legislation, analysts trade stock tips, neighbors gossip, and teens chitchat. Further, such interpersonal communication affects everything from decision making and well-being (Asch, 1956; Mehl, Vazire, Holleran, & Clark, 2010) to the spread of ideas, the persistence of stereotypes, and the diffusion of culture (Heath, 1996; Heath, Bell, & Sternberg, 2001; Kashima, 2008; Schaller, Conway, & Tanchuk, 2002; Schaller & Crandall, 2004). But although it is clear that social transmission is both frequent and important, what drives people to share, and why are some stories and information shared more than others?

Keywords: social transmission, word of mouth, viral, emotion

Suggested Citation

Berger, Jonah A., Arousal Increases Social Transmission of Information (February 29, 2012). Psychological Science, Vol. 22, No. 7, 2011. Available at SSRN:

Jonah A. Berger (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - Marketing Department ( email )

700 Jon M. Huntsman Hall
3730 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6340
United States

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