Dunbar’s Number

Dunbar’s number is a suggested cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships — relationships in which an individual knows who each person is and how each person relates to every other person. This number was first proposed in the 1990s by British anthropologist Robin Dunbar, who found a correlation between primate brain size and average social group size. By using the average human brain size and extrapolating from the results of primates, he proposed that humans can comfortably maintain 150 stable relationships. Dunbar explained it informally as ‘the number of people you would not feel embarrassed about joining uninvited for a drink if you happened to bump into them in a bar.’

Evan and I were just talking about the great podcasts of Chris Ryan, and he mentioned that Chris and Joe Rogan often refer to this number.

A lot of wonkiness on the subject (and a few fascinating factoids in “Popularisation”) in Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar%27s_number

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