SmileWave: Investigating the Occurrence of Selfie-based Emotional Contagion over Social Network

Happiness is obviously one of the most fundamental essence that affects many aspects of our lives.
Past research found that happiness of one person affect that of other people. What occurs under this propagation of emotion is called “emotional contagion”, a phenomenon wherein through perception, people experience the same emotion expressed by someone when communicating with them.

Although online communication is increasing due to growth of mobile computing, emotional contagion on online communication is not well studied yet. Particularly, it is not yet clear if emotional contagion among people occurs through selfie photos posted on the social network media.

We implemented “SmileWave”, the social networking system for investigating selfie-based emotional contagion. The key feature of SmileWave is detecting “smile degree” in user’s posting selfies and in reactive facial expressions when the user is viewing the posted photos from others. Our in-the-wild user studies with 38 participants for 2 weeks revealed the occurrence of selfie-based emotional contagion over the social network, based on the results that the users’ smile degree improved (15% on average) when the user looked at posted selfie photos.


  • Sasaki, W., Nishiyama, Y., Okoshi, T., and Nakazawam J., “Investigating the occurrence of selfie-based emotional contagion over social network”. Social Network Analysis and Mining, Vol. 11, Article 8, 2021.
  • W, Sasaki, M. Obuchi, K. Egashira, N. Isokawa, Y, Furukawa, Y. Nishiyama, T. Okoshi and J. Nakazawa – “Poster: Extensive Evaluation of Emotional Contagion on Smile Selfies over Social Network” in the 15th ACM International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications, and Services June 19th – 23rd, 2017 Niagara Falls, NY, USA
  • W. Sasaki, Y. Furukawa, Y. Nishiyama, T. Okoshi, J. Nakazawa, and H. Tokuda, “Poster Abstract: SmileWave – Sensing and Analysis of Smile-Based Emotional Contagion over Social Network,” in 2016 15th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Information Processing in Sensor Networks (IPSN), 2016, pp. 1–2.

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