“Dunbar’s Number” And P&G’s Embrace Of Facebook

Just as P&G loads up on Facebook friends (AdAge) for its brands, new research is emerging about how many friends a person can really interact with on Facebook.

According to a London Times article, Robin Dunbar, professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at Oxford University, developed a theory known as “Dunbar’s number” in the 1990s which claimed that the size of our neocortex — the part of the brain used for conscious thought and language — limits us to managing social circles of around 150 friends, no matter how sociable we are.

Dunbar’s now looking at Facebook to see if the size of ones digital circle of friends is larger. In the inital findings, he says “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.”

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