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What is the Dunbar Number?

150 is “the approximate number of people you would not feel embarrassed about joining uninvited for a drink if you happened to bump into them in a bar.” 150 is often referred to as the Dunbar number.

The Project and Social Media

Ten years ago, Robin Dunbar studied the sending of Christmas cards in England. He used the count to measure meaningful social connections. The number sent averaged 153.5, precisely what Dunbar expected. He and other researchers kept finding groupings of 150; self-governing communes, offices of Gore-Tex, etc. Dunbar postulates that this is simply the brain’s limit. Sure, there are outliers, but most people top out at 150 relationships.

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