Why Your Friends Have More Friends Than You Do

  title={Why Your Friends Have More Friends Than You Do},
  author={Scott L. Feld},
  journal={American Journal of Sociology},
  pages={1464 - 1477}
  • S. Feld
  • Published 1 May 1991
  • Education
  • American Journal of Sociology
It is reasonable to suppose that individuals use the number of friends that their friends have as one basis for determining whether they, themselves, have an adequate number of friends. This article shows that, if individuals compare themselves with their friends, it is likely that most of them will feel relatively inadequate. Data on friendship drawn from James Coleman's (1961) classic study The Adolescent Society are used to illustratite the phenomenon that most people have fewer friends have… 
The friendship paradox
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We report on a survey of undergraduates at the University of Chicago in which respondents were asked to assess their popularity relative to others. Popularity estimates were related to actual
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A probability method is proposed to reinterpret this paradox, and it is illustrated that the explanation using the method is more persuasive than the mean value version in real networks both online and offline.
Friendship Paradox Redux: Your Friends Are More Interesting Than You
Feld's friendship paradox states that "your friends have more friends than you, on average." This paradox arises because extremely popular people, despite being rare, are overrepresented when


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  • S. Feld
  • Sociology
    American Journal of Sociology
  • 1981
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