Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Few Friends or Many: Which Is Best?

Do you prefer a close-knit circle of friends or a broad network of lots of acquaintances? Science reveals which is most beneficial.

  

Whether one has a small, cozy group of friends or a larger, more boisterous gaggle may depend on individual personalities and circumstances, but new research suggests when deciding which type is best, socioeconomic conditions are key.

"In the age of Facebook, many Americans seem to opt for a broad, shallow networking strategy," write Shigehiro Oishi of the University of Virginia and Selin Kesebir of the London Business School last week in the journal Psychological Science. "Yet, cross-cultural research has shown that having many friends is not always viewed positively outside the United States." (For instance, in Ghana, they noted, an individual who claimed to have more than 50 friends was considered "naïve" and "foolish.")

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