Psychological theories suggest that emotion represents the state of mind and instinctive responses of one’s cognitive system (Cannon 1927). Emotions are a complex state of feeling that results in physical and psychological changes that influence our behavior. In this paper, we study an interesting problem of emotion contagion in social networks. In particular, by employing an image social network (Flickr) as the basis of our study, we try to unveil how users’ emotional statuses influence each other and how users’ positions in the social network affect their influential strength on emotion. We develop a probabilistic framework to formalize the problem into a role-aware contagion model. The model is able to predict users’ emotional statuses based on their historical emotional statuses and social structures. Experiments on a large Flickr dataset show that the proposed model significantly outperforms (+31% in terms of F1-score) several alternative methods in predicting users’ emotional status. We also discover several intriguing phenomena. For example, the probability that a user feels happy is roughly linear to the number of friends who are also happy; but taking a closer look, the happiness probability is superlinear to the number of happy friends who act as opinion leaders (Page et al. 1999) in the network and sublinear in the number of happy friends who span structural holes (Burt 2001). This offers a new opportunity to understand the underlying mechanism of emotional contagion in online social networks.