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Watching High-Spirited Videos Online Could Make You Happier

They found evidence that there is both a sustained and an immediate effect that leads to YouTuber emotion correlating with audience emotion

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Watching peppy videos online could make you happier, Pixabay

Watching high-spirited videos on YouTube after a long day at work could pep you up a bit as researchers have found that people mirror the emotions of those they see online.

When a YouTuber posts a video with a generally positive tone, the audience reacts with heightened positive emotions and the same is true for other emotional states, said the study published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

“Our research is a reminder that the people we encounter online influence our everyday emotions — being exposed to happy (or angry) people can make us more happy (or angry) ourselves,” said lead author of the study Hannes Rosenbusch from Tilburg University in the Netherlands.

 For the study, the researchers examined over 2,000 video blogs, or vlogs on YouTube.

Vloggers share emotions and experiences in their videos, providing a reliable source of data.

The researchers focused on studying more popular vlogs, with a minimum of 10,000 subscribers. Some of their sample vlogs had millions of subscribers.

Representational image. Pixabay

To measure if people watching vlogs experienced emotional contagion or homophily, the team studied words and emotions expressed by the vloggers and analyzed the emotional language of online comments.

Being affected by others’ emotions is known as “contagion” and “homophily” refers to the tendency of people seeking out others like themselves.

The researchers modelled the effect of both immediate (contagion) and sustained (homophily) emotional reactions.

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They found evidence that there is both a sustained and an immediate effect that leads to YouTuber emotion correlating with audience emotion.

“Our social life might move more and more to the online sphere, but our emotions and the way we behave towards one another will always be steered by basic psychological processes,” Rosenbusch said. (IANS)

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YouTube CEO Apologises to LGBTQ Community

The platform is looking to re-evaluate its harassment policies in the wake of the ongoing situation

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FILE - Signage is seen inside the YouTube Space LA offices in Los Angeles, California, Oct. 21, 2015. VOA

After the LGBTQ community called out to YouTube for not considering homophobic remarks as violation of its platform’s policies, company CEO Susan Wojcicki apologised to the community.

“I know that the decisions we made were very hurtful to the LGBTQ community and that wasn’t our intention at all. That was not our intention, and we are really sorry about that,” The Verge quoted Wojcicki as saying at the Code Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday.

Wojcicki’s apology comes in the wake of the company’s failure to take more definitive action against conservative pundit Steven Crowder who made homophobic and racist comments about Vox publications writer Carlos Maza, calling him “lispy queer” and “gay Mexican”.

The decision led to mass outcry from YouTube creators, critics and even Google employees who signed a petition against YouTube’s decision.

Apologising and defending the decision, the YouTube CEO said: “I’m really, personally very sorry. As a company we really want to support this community. It’s just from a policy standpoint we need to be consistent – if we took down that content, there would be so much other content that we need to take down.”

Sikh, Man, Rainbow, Turban
Pride Month kicked off on June 1 and honours the LGBTQ community while commemorating New York’s Stonewall riots in June 1969. Pixabay

Even though YouTube left Crowder’s channel up, it did remove advertisements from his channel, the report added.

This is not the first time that Google has been pulled up for its anti-LGBTQ community stand.

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In March, US-based LGBTQ civil rights advocacy group — Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation — suspended Google from its 2019 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) for failing to remove a “conversation therapy” app from its PlayStore.

The platform is looking to re-evaluate its harassment policies in the wake of the ongoing situation. (IANS)