Saturday 10 December 2016

We must find jobs for our young before they become unemployable

Published 17/04/2013 | 17:00

DID you know that divorce is contagious? A recent US study found that divorce can spread through social networks, like a virus, passing among friends, siblings, even people you work with.

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According to the researcher James Fowler, who followed thousands of people over 30 years, if your friend gets divorced, it increases the likelihood that you'll get divorced by about 147pc. Friends share attitudes to divorce, so that if someone close to you – let's say a good friend – gets divorced, it makes it more acceptable for you to divorce too.

This study reveals the power of context in our lives. People are influenced enormously by those around them. Things can become "normal" quite easily. We are highly social, interactive animals and we are inclined to copy those around us. We see this with all sorts of aspects of human behaviour, smokers hang around with smokers, drinkers with drinkers and, if obesity becomes commonplace, then it will proliferate because it is more acceptable.

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