From six degrees to four degrees of separation

4 degrees of separation

Psychologies | Upfront ideas | Technology
June 2012

In the Sixties, social psychologist Stanley Milgram developed the theory that any two people in the world are connected to each other through six connections.  Now a study by Facebook and the University of Milan has found that the average number of links separating two people on Facebook is just four (4.74 to be precise).  But this doesn’t make us any closer to each other now than we were before. “The average British adult Facebook user has not spoken to half of their Facebook friends and doesn’t even know one-fifth of them,” says psychologist Dr Rebecca McGuire-Snieckus. 



So, it’s not actually rude then to ask your Facebook friends: “Do I know you from somewhere?”.


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