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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Negative Thoughts Can Be Contagious

Environmental factors play a considerable part in influencing the way we assess and respond to something. That is why it becomes important to carefully choose the environment of friendship. A new study says even about the way people respond to bad events, both positive and negative, can be contagious.

Someone who is in transition, such as from adolescence to adulthood, assessed more easily influenced by the thinking of people in the vicinity. The study, published in the journal Clinical Psychological Science also said, negative thoughts will increase the risk of depression.

The researchers analyzed the 103 pairs of new students who occupy the same room. At that age they are considered to have a greater tendency of contracting negative thoughts or the so-called cognitive vulnerability. The study found that those who had high cognitive vulnerability tends to increase the risk of depression.

"We found the study participants' cognitive vulnerability is significantly influenced by his roommate, so are better," wrote the researchers. Roommates involved in the study were randomly selected, rather than determined by the student. Only three months after their stay in the same room, this transmission occurs.

The researchers also found that those who experienced an increase in cognitive vulnerability for three months, had increased levels of depressive symptoms as well. The increase in the level of depressive symptoms experienced is almost double compared to those who did not experience an increase in cognitive vulnerability.

Prior to this study, the researchers considered the cognitive vulnerability does not change much after a person passes through early adolescence. But the new findings show that when someone is in a transition period can have a change of cognitive vulnerability.

In addition to the environment, the researchers noted there are other factors that affect cognitive vulnerability, namely genetic and biological factors.

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