Social network size in humans

  title={Social network size in humans},
  author={Russell A. Hill and Robin I. M. Dunbar},
  journal={Human Nature},
This paper examines social network size in contemporary Western society based on the exchange of Christmas cards. Maximum network size averaged 153.5 individuals, with a mean network size of 124.9 for those individuals explicitly contacted; these values are remarkably close to the group size of 150 predicted for humans on the basis of the size of their neocortex. Age, household type, and the relationship to the individual influence network structure, although the proportion of kin remained… 

Beyond the Core: Who Has Larger Social Networks?

The sociological literature on social networks overwhelmingly considers the number of core social contacts. Social networks, however, reach far beyond this small number of social ties. We know little

Network Structure and Social Complexity in Primates

Data is used on primate grooming networks to show that three different social grades can be differentiated in terms of network structuring, which seems to arise from a glass ceiling imposed on group size by limits on the time available for social grooming.

Do online social media cut through the constraints that limit the size of offline social networks?

The data show that the size and range of online egocentric social networks, indexed as the number of Facebook friends, is similar to that of offline face-to-face networks, suggesting that, as originally proposed by the social brain hypothesis, there is a cognitive constraint on the size of social networks that even the communication advantages of online media are unable to overcome.

Constraints on the evolution of social institutions and their implications for information flow

An analytical model parameterized by contact frequencies is used to show that there may be little advantage in having a network larger than ~150 for the purposes of information exchange, and a Monte Carlo simulation model is presented to demonstrate that structure significantly impedes the rate of information flow in structured communities.

Trust levels in social networks

An answer of this important question regarding trust and Dunbar’s number for one's social network by simulations is found and relation between the power-law exponents α and trust cutoffs are established and it is established that trust level never helps.

Cognitive resource allocation determines the organization of personal networks

The existence of a heterogeneous cost to relationships, together with a limitation in the total capacity an individual has to invest in them, can naturally explain the existence of layers and, when the cost function is linear, explain the scaling between them.

Extraverts Have Larger Social Network Layers But Do Not Feel Emotionally Closer to Individuals at Any Layer

Previous studies showed that extraversion influences social network size. However, it is unclear how extraversion affects the size of different layers of the network, and how extraversion relates to

Communication in social networks: Effects of kinship, network size, and emotional closeness

Communication is important in preventing social relationships from decaying over time. This study examined the effects of social network size, emotional closeness, and type of relationship (kinship



Social networks, support cliques, and kinship

Data on the number of adults that an individual contacts at least once a month in a set of British populations yield estimates of network sizes that correspond closely to those of the typical

Neocortex size and social network size in primates

It is shown that, in respect of neocortex size, there are as many as four statistically distinct grades within the primates (including humans), and analysis of the patterns of grooming among males and females suggested that large primate social groups often consist of a set of smaller female subgroups that are linked by individual males.

Core Discussion Networks of Americans

Aspects of interpersonal networks in which Americans discuss "important matters" are examined using data from the 1985 General Social Survey. These are the first survey network data representative of

Estimating the size of personal networks

Social Networks and Support: A Comparison of African Americans, Asian Americans, Caucasians, and Hispanics

INTRODUCTION Milardo ( 1988) notes that the relationships we maintain with other individuals, whether close and longstanding or ordinary and brief, are among the most important features of life.

Comparing Two Methods for Estimating Network Size

In this paper we compare two methods for estimating the size of personal networks using a nationally representative sample of the United States. Both methods rely on the ability of respondents to

Coevolution of neocortical size, group size and language in humans

It is suggested that the evolution of large groups in the human lineage depended on developing a more efficient method for time-sharing the processes of social bonding and that language uniquely fulfills this requirement.

Social network development and functioning during a life transition.

Network characteristics were significantly associated with the freshmen's successful adaptation to college, though the relative adaptiveness of particular network characteristics varied over time.