Dunbar’s why primates were so enthralled with
Dunbar’s number was created by a man named Robin Dunbar while he was studying why primates were so enthralled with how they looked and acted, as well as what made them spend so much time trying to be a certain way. The concept of Dunbar’s number is the idea that you can only have between 0-150 strong connections. Dunbar claims that human social groups have limited numbers because of the complexity of our relationships with others. Different primate groups have a larger number with which they can keep track of because their relationships are less emotionally complicated than humans are. The relationships and connections we make are significantly lower because in them we have to keep track of many things and maintain the relationship. However, Dunbar’s number is specific to close relationships rather than the less complex ones that don’t take up as much time or energy. Once the limit is exceeded in a group, Dunbar’s concept says we need to start formulating laws and developing a government. You also have to think more about the larger issues in the new group, because they mean more than individual problems some might be experiencing. Dunbar’s number comes in layers, similar to an onion. Your highest possible number is 200, which is seen more in social people, generally, the highest number is 150. This group is 150 people are your friends, people you hang out with or connect with on facebook from time to time to see what they’re up to. You wouldn’t call them your close friends, but they’re definitely not labeled as acquaintances. Narrowing it down to the next layer, 100, you are now with your close friends. These are the ones that you make an effort to see often, however, they don’t share the intimate relationship you have with others. The layers continue getting closer, maybe as you narrow it down you find some family members you’re close with or some friends from college you make time to see annually. The final layer in Dunbar’s number is your circle of 15. These are your closest relationships, which can consist of family, friends, significant others, etc. These are the people you can turn to for support both emotionally and physically. In the New Yorker article, “The Limits of Friendship” written by Maria Konnikova, they talk about the fluidity of these layers and the relationships people can have, “Your five today may not be your five next week; people drift among layers and sometimes fall out of them altogether.” The use of these concepts people come up with can be used throughout everyday life, there are many concepts used every day that people don’t even realize are concepts. This concept, in particular, can be used to explain people’s connections, obviously, but it can also help people to use it to look at their own lives. This also can be used to study the differences in people’s personalities, how many numbers a certain person can have and the differences in quality of the relationships (introvert vs extrovert). Dunbar’s number is a very interesting concept that shows the complexity of human life and interactions, and how it differs from other humans and other species.