This is INVISIBILIA.
I’m Alix Spiegel.
And I’m Lulu Miller.
And today we are looking at the ways in which
we are all invisibly connected to each other.
I’ll tell you how we first
started to come across the notion of contagion.
This is Dick Rapson
He and his wife and colleague, Elaine Hatfield,
are psychological researchers from the University of Hawaii.
We were therapists for a while for about fifteen years.
And I remember a client to came in
who was very animated.
She was talking very quickly and energetically,
but I found I started to yawn.
And Elaine started to yawn.
I wasn’t tired at all.
So why were we yawning?
And what we think was going on
is that we were picking up,
underneath her cascade of words, depression.
That was their idea that
the depression was somehow being telegraphed to them nonverbally.
So they looked into it and found out that,
emotions leak out a person’s face in these
very measurable, consistent ways called microexpressions.
Split-second expressions of
fear, grief, shame, joy, sadness.
恐惧 悲伤 羞愧 快乐 难过
What Dick and Elaine then added to the equation
after years of research is that
one way we might contract these emotions
is through that same old dance.
Because our faces, unbeknownst to us,
actually imitate the tiny microexpressions we see on other people
our eyebrows bound in synchrony with someone else’s surprise,
or droop with someone else’s sadness.
The strange result is that the corresponding emotion is produced inside us.
Because, as has now been well documented
one of the ways that emotions are produced
is from the outside, in.
We get real pale, little reflections
of what others are thinking and feeling.
And for Dick and Elaine,
the result of this realization of learning about hundreds of experiments
in which we so readily
contract each other’s emotions, and thoughts and breath,
is that even though you walk around thinking of yourself as an individual.
That we’re each individual entities
who live in our own universe and control our own universe,
I think that’s a delusion.
Would you agree with that, Elaine?
Yes, I would.
We’re going to slip in
to being like the company we keep.
It’s like without quite being aware of it,
we are all one organism,
a heaving, swirling organism contracting
the feelings and thoughts of the people around us.
This is INVISIBILIA.