As part of the University of Oxford lecture series, Professor Robin Dunbar discusses the social brain, Dunbar's Number of ~150 and research on social interactions.
Some interesting points:
– brain size related to complexity of social system
– Rings of Relationships grow by 3x the previous ring
– We have 5 true friends – as predicted by Aristotle
– Face-to-face critical to maintaining relationship…otherwise see decay
– Facebook social graph of 44M users have average of 120-130 friends
‘For the first time, it has been possible to provide a genuine evolutionary time depth to the study of brain evolution. It is interesting to see that even animals that have contact with humans, like cats, have much smaller brains than dogs and horses because of their lack of sociality.’ – Professor Dunbar
Rob Paterson, who provided the link to the Dunbar video above and always has an interesting post on his blog, has posted on the topic of what our social "sweet spot" of friends might be and references some valuable research (… I think it is well worth reading).