Agents in Principle, Agents in Practice

Volume 7047 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 83-96

An Agent-Based Model for Integrated Contagion and Regulation of Negative Mood

  • Azizi Ab AzizAffiliated withAgent Systems Research Group, VU University Amsterdam
  • , Jan TreurAffiliated withAgent Systems Research Group, VU University Amsterdam
  • , C. Natalie van der WalAffiliated withAgent Systems Research Group, VU University Amsterdam

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Through social interaction, the mood of a person can affect the mood of others. The speed and intensity of such mood contagion can differ, depending on the persons and the type and intensity of their interactions. Especially in close relationships the negative mood of a depressed person can have a serious impact on the moods of the ones close to him or her. For short time durations, contagion may be the main factor determining the mood of a person; however, for longer time durations individuals also apply regulation mechanisms to compensate for too strong deviations of their mood. Computational contagion models usually do not take into account such regulation. This paper introduces an agent-based model that simulates the spread of negative mood amongst a group of agents in a social network, but at the same time integrates elements from Gross’ emotion regulation theory, as the individuals’ efforts to avoid a negative mood. Simulation experiments under different group settings pointed out that the model is able to produce realistic results, that explain negative mood contagion and emotion regulation behaviours posed in the literature.


emotion contagion and regulation agent-based model