It seems, baby, now we got bad blood. According to the MIT Technology Review, the ‘girl squad’ is a sham, and our brains are only capable of having five best friends at a time.
Basically, in the early 90’s an anthropologist named Robin Dunbar determined that the bigger a primate’s brain, the bigger their social group was. Dunbar further resolved that humans are only capable of having a finite number of friends due to the size of our neocortex (defined: the part of the cerebral cortex concerned with sight and hearing in mammals). Most specifically, we are only able to have five best friends, a further 10 close friends, 35 acquaintances, and 100 additional contacts in our lives.
Dunbar recently tested this scientific theory by conducting a study that examined over 6 billion phone calls made by (just a casual) 35 million people in Europe from 2007 onwards.
“The team assumes that the frequency of calls between two individuals is a measure of the strength of their relationship,” says the MIT Technology Review. The study found that Dunbar’s estimate was not too far off: “The average cumulative layer turns out to hold 4.1, 11.0, 29.8, and 128.9 users,” researchers found—again, that’s besties, close friends, acquaintances and “contacts” respectively.
Soz, Taylor Swift.