16 Stories

Study Determines How Many Best Friends We Have

4 ... or maybe 5

(Newser) - British anthropologist Robin Dunbar made a name for himself in the '90s when he hypothesized that there is a strong correlation among primates between brain size and social circles—and he most notably suggested that we humans can only really maintain close relationships with five people, reports MIT Technology... More »

The Longer You Can Do This, the More Friends You May Have

The connection between friends and pain tolerance is explored

(Newser) - Having a healthy network of friends can do you a lot of good , but can it also save you from a lot of pain? Researchers reporting in the journal Scientific Reports seem to think so. They say that one's ability to tolerate pain can actually predict the size of... More »

Even a Second of Laughter Speaks Volumes

Scientists find that across cultures humans are good at discerning intimacy via laughter

(Newser) - What can be revealed in just a brief moment of laughter—an audio recording a mere second long, played without any context to people in two dozen different parts of the world? Quite a lot, it turns out. In fact, that tiny blip of sound is enough for many of... More »

Smart People Happier When Not Socializing With Pals

It all leads back to our hunter-gatherer ancestors: scientists

(Newser) - A study delving into the well-being of young people came up with two main findings: that people who live in more densely populated areas tend to be less happy, and that the more socializing one does with close friends, the more satisfied that person says he or she is, the... More »

Couple Adopts Friend's 4 Daughters After She Dies

And suddenly, they're a family of 8

(Newser) - There's keeping a promise to a friend, and there's this: A couple in suburban Buffalo has adopted the four daughters of a friend who died of cancer, reports WKBW . “She said if anything ever happens to me I want you to take my girls and I instantly... More »

8 Famous Celeb BFFs

Who says there's no true friendship in Hollywood?

(Newser) - Hollywood may have some schemers and back-stabbers, but it also has its fair share of celebrity best friends. rounds up seven pairs of famous BFFs:
  • Zach Braff and Donald Faison: They've been going strong since they started co-starring in Scrubs. Braff was a groomsman in Faison's
... More »

Your Friends Change—but Not How Many You Have

Study finds we have finite capacity for close relationships

(Newser) - A new study offers a rather stark picture of how long-term friendships work: While we might not stay friends with the same people throughout our lives, we do tend to maintain the same number of friends, researchers say. In other words, "our capacity for maintaining emotionally close relationships is... More »

Guys Play Complex Game of Tag— for 23 Years

Old school buddies stay in touch ... literally

(Newser) - Imagine hiding in the trunk of your friend's car as part of a game of tag—and doing it as an adult. That's exactly what Sean Raftis, a priest, did in the 1990s to tag his old school buddy Joe Tombari. When the trunk opened, Raftis jumped out... More »

20% of Your Facebook Friends Are Strangers

60% are just acquaintances, study finds

(Newser) - A fifth of your Facebook friends are people you don’t even know—and three-fifths are just acquaintances, a study finds. The fact that only 20% of your friends are your actual friends may not come as a surprise to the average Facebook user, notes , but it’s... More »

Everyone's Magic Number of Friends: 150

Anthropologist: That's the limit for meaningful relationships, online or off

(Newser) - Facebook and other social networks promise an unlimited number of potential friends, but anthropologist Robin Dunbar spots a "fundamental flaw" in that logic: "Our minds." Humans are cable of having meaningful relationships with a maximum of about 150 people, whether they're online or off, writes Dunbar in... More »

New Social Network Limits Friends to 50

Founders believe people will share even more

(Newser) - If you were moved by Jimmy Kimmel's recent push for a National Unfriend Day , you should be glad to hear this news: New social network Path launches today, and it limits you to your nearest and dearest 50 friends. Path's limit is in keeping with the work of evolutionary anthropologist... More »

No More BFFs: Schools Intervene

Educators, psychologists argue over what's healthier

(Newser) - Remember your childhood best friend, the person you shared secrets and slumber parties with? Your son or daughter might never have that experience. “Parents sometimes say Johnny needs that one special friend. We say he doesn’t need a best friend,” one counselor tells the New York Times... More »

Facebook Friends: How Many Is Too Many?

Even the social network says to can it at 5K

(Newser) - Sure, you get by with a little help from your friends, but in the überfriendly world of Facebook, how many is too many? One professor sets the number of meaningful relationships one can handle at 150, and even Facebook itself will cut you off at the you-can't-possibly-know-all-these-people number of... More »

Young Are Much Lonelier Than the Old

Study: 'epidemic of loneliness' among 18-34

(Newser) - Loneliness plagues the young more than the old, a new study suggests. In a survey of 2,256 Brits, about 60% of people 18 to 34 said they often or sometimes felt lonely, compared to only 35% of those over 55, reports the BBC . The findings, a psychiatrist tells the... More »

What Price Love? $63.34 on Valentine's Day

Spending on spouses or partners is expected to drop

(Newser) - The recession hath made its mark on love, as an industry group expects Valentine’s Day spending to fall by about 6% this year compared to last. The National Retail Federation estimates someone in a relationship will spend $63.34 this year on their spouse or significant other, a drop... More »

Loneliness Is Communicable

Feel bad, friends feel bad—but only for 3 degrees of separation

(Newser) - Lonelyhearts of the world unite—your malaise may not be the fault of your particular situation, but rather that of contagious ill-feeling. A new study finds that loneliness is infectious—lonely neighbors that interact regularly with those next-door pass on increased loneliness. So “you can use your friends to... More »

16 Stories