Jonah Berger Honored with Sage 10-Year Impact Award for Research with Long-Term Influence

Global academic publisher Sage Journals recognizes Professor Berger’s “What Makes Content Go Viral” article for its lasting impact on the social and behavioral sciences.

Professor Jonah Berger of The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, has been honored for the long-term impact of his research. Sage Journals’ annual recognition honors academic papers that received the most citations in the past decade since publication, compared to all other articles published by Sage in the same year.

Coauthored with Katherine Milkman and published in the Journal of Marketing Research in 2012, the article “What Makes Online Content Go Viral?” analyzes the diffusion of online content from a psychological perspective.

Professor Berger’s article examines how emotion shapes virality, offering insight into why people share content and what makes viral marketing campaigns more effective.

The authors use a unique New York Times dataset to examine how emotion shapes virality. They note that content evoking high physiological arousal, both positive and negative, is more likely to go viral. The article also explains why people share content and what makes viral marketing campaigns more effective.

Professor Berger, a renowned expert on word of mouth, influence, and consumer behavior, researches how products, ideas, and behaviors are shared and disseminated. He is the author of bestselling books on consumer behavior, including Magic Words: What to Say to Get Your Way (2023); The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone’s Mind (2020); Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces That Shape Behavior (2016); and Contagious: Why Things Catch On (2013).