Your brain’s tipping point is maxed out at 150 Facebook friends

Your brain’s tipping point is maxed out at 150 Facebook friends

Monday, January 25, 2010, 7:31am PST

A British anthropologist famous for research on the size of "social circles" that the brain can handle efficiently is now applying his studies to Facebook.

Robin Dunbar told The Sunday Times of London that the same limit of 150 meaningful acquaintances that applies in the real world holds true in social networks.

"The interesting thing is that you can have 1,500 friends but when you actually look at traffic on sites, you see people maintain the same inner circle of around 150 people that we observe in the real world,” Dunbar told the paper.

He also suggests that females are better at …

….networking on Facebook than males.

"Girls are much better at maintaining relationships just by talking to each other. Boys need to do physical stuff together,” he said.

Dunbar, a professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at Oxford University, has famously found that social networks begin to break down after reaching 150 people. His theories were recounted in Malcolm Gladwell’s popular book, "The Tipping Point," and have been adapted in the business and military worlds.

"People obviously like the kudos of having hundreds of friends but the reality is that they’re unlikely to be bigger than anyone else’s," he told The Sunday Times.

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