Mobility and economic standing are important factors
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/31/2012 -- There are some who have a few close friends, and those friends alone, on their Facebook. Others seem to have a seemingly endless sea of supposed friends. Researchers now believe that the perfect number of friends can depend upon how successful you are, and how often you move about.
Researchers from the University of Virginia, as well as the London Business school, have stated that the perfect number does vary depending upon several socioeconomic factors, as well as what country one is from.
Psychology Professor Shigehiro Oishi and Selin Kesebir of the London School of Business explored the positives of social network strategies. The research spanned two studies that are currently published within Psychological Science.
“In the age of Facebook, many Americans seem to opt for a broad, shallow networking strategy,' they say.”
“Yet cross-cultural research has shown that having many friends is not always viewed positively outside the United States.'”
One postulation of why American's would prefer a larger social network is that Americans tend to move around more consistently than other countries' citizens. The ability to move about stems from an economic capability of many individuals.
“When times are prosperous, your friends are less likely to need much help, whether it’s covering a hospital bill or providing babysitting, and so a broad network of friends is easy to maintain,” they claim.
“But when times aren’t as flush, having more friends might incur huge costs in terms of both time and resources.”
Both Oishi and Kesbir predict that broad, shallow networking strategy would be prime for those who are mobile and economically sustained.
A narrow and more deep strategy would be prime for those who intend on staying within one place for longer periods of time, or those who did not have quality economic conditions.
Researchers were able to simulate the differing types of person who have different numbers of friends, as well as differing levels of friendship. Just as the researchers assumed, those who had small social networks also had stronger ties with the friends they had, and this was often found in those who moved about less.
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