Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Are People More Likely To Become Friends Based on Proximity Or Shared Values and Interests?

Date:
June 4, 2008
Source:
Association for Psychological Science
Summary:
Rather than picking our friends based on intentional choice and common values and interests, our friendships may be based on more superficial factors like proximity or group assignments. As reported in a recent issue of Psychological Science sitting in neighboring seats as a result of randomly assigned seat numbers when meeting for the first time led to higher ratings of friendship intensity one year later.

The actor Sir Peter Ustinov once famously said “Contrary to general belief, I do not believe that friends are necessarily the people you like best, they are merely the people who get there first.” Psychologists now believe there is some truth to this argument. Rather than picking our friends based on intentional choice and common values and interests, our friendships may be based on more superficial factors like proximity (think neighbors) or group assignments (your department at work).

Mitja Back, Stefan Schmukle, and Boris Egloff of the University of Leipzig sought to test the notion that random proximity and random group assignment at zero acquaintance would foster friendship in the long run. The researchers investigated 54 college freshmen upon encountering one another for the first time at the beginning of a one-off introductory session and randomly assigned them a seat number in a group of chairs organized in rows.

As reported in a recent issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, sitting in neighboring seats as a result of randomly assigned seat numbers when meeting for the first time led to higher ratings of friendship intensity one year later. The same was true even if participants were merely in the same row.

The counterintuitive finding suggests that friendships may not be as deliberate we think. “In a nutshell,” write the authors, “people may become friends simply because they drew the right random number.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Association for Psychological Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Association for Psychological Science. "Are People More Likely To Become Friends Based on Proximity Or Shared Values and Interests?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080602163842.htm>.
Association for Psychological Science. (2008, June 4). Are People More Likely To Become Friends Based on Proximity Or Shared Values and Interests?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 14, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080602163842.htm
Association for Psychological Science. "Are People More Likely To Become Friends Based on Proximity Or Shared Values and Interests?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080602163842.htm (accessed September 14, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) A study for University College London suggests obese people who are discriminated against gain more weight than those who are not. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Common Sleeping, Anxiety Pills Linked To Alzheimer's

Common Sleeping, Anxiety Pills Linked To Alzheimer's

Newsy (Sep. 10, 2014) Researchers found commonly prescribed sleeping and anxiety pills such as Xanax and Valium could lead to an increased risk for Alzheimer's disease. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins