Monday, January 10, 2011
Bad news for the family and friends of Cupid's victims:
Professor Dunbar's group studies social networks and how we manage their size and composition.
He has previously shown that the maximum number of friends it is realistically possible to engage is about 150. On the social networking site Facebook, for example, people will typically have 120-130 friends.
This number can be divided into progressively smaller groups, with an inner clique numbering between four and six.
These are people who we see at least once a week; people we go to at moments of crisis. The next layer out are the people we see about once a month - the "sympathy group". They are all the people who, if they died tomorrow, we would miss and be upset about.
In the latest study, the team questioned 540 participants, aged 18 and over, about their relationships and the strain those relationships came under when a new romantic engagement was started.
The results confirmed the widely held view that love can lead to a smaller support network, with typically one family member and one friend being pushed out to accommodate the new lover.
Read more here.
Hat Tip: SH